Panhandle students back to the books


Berkeley County (W.VA.) Schools superintendent Manny P. Arvon was "very pleased" with how the first day of school went for the growing school district.

Arvon said school officials added seven buses in response to the district's projected growth of 600 to 800 students.

An exact number is not expected to be available for about two weeks.

He said 80 substitute teachers were hired.

The school district opened an addition at Mill Creek Intermediate School in southern Berkeley County and also opened an expanded Bunker Hill (W.Va.) Elementary school.

The flow of traffic at South Middle School in Martinsburg, W.Va., was the biggest concern for the first day, but Arvon said transportation officials had no problems to report.


"Everyone was home and it was a good day," Arvon said hours after school ended.

The opening of school in Jefferson County got off to a smooth start Monday, said Gail Woods, spokeswoman for the school system.

There were a few computer problems in the school system, but "that's always to be expected," Woods said.

Students spent the day going over issues like bus safety.

At North Jefferson Elementary School, dozens of students sat in a large room as Walter Jackson, a bus driver supervisor, reviewed bus safety issues.

It was a fun affair, with a plastic model of a bus with eyes serving as a prop for the lesson.

Over the summer, asbestos tiles were removed from the school and teachers put in a lot of extra hours getting the building ready for its estimated 330 students after new flooring was installed, Principal Mary Ann Jenkins said.

Other than an incident where a student pulled a fire alarm, the first day went smoothly, Jenkins said.

About 8,000 students are expected to attend Jefferson County Schools this year, Woods said.

Woods said school officials will probably have a more accurate student enrollment figure by Friday.

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