Local schools set to host orientation events

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By Calen McKinney

It's about that time of year again, time for local students to set their alarm clocks and sharpen their pencils.

Campbellsville, Taylor County and Kentucky Christian students will head back to the classroom on Aug. 6.

But before the first bell of the school year rings, schools will host orientations to help parents and students know exactly what to expect this school year.

Some schools will have camps for their students. Others will have open houses and give tours of their buildings to allow students and parents to meet the teachers they will have this year.

Orientations at some schools begin today and will continue this week and next.

Information for events at each local school follows.


Campbellsville Elementary School

CES Principal Ricky Hunt said orientation at his school, which is now located at the former Campbellsville Middle School building, will be Monday, July 29.

New students will register at 4 p.m. Students in kindergarten and first grade will come at 4:30 and second- and third-graders will register at 5.

Hunt said orientation will allow students to meet their teachers and get school supply lists. Parents can also pick up the paperwork they need to complete.

While attending orientation isn't mandatory, Hunt said, school staff encourage as many students and parents as possible to attend.

"This will make the first day of school a whole lot smoother," he said.

And, Hunt said, students can check out their new school and learn where they will be attending class, going to gym and eating lunch.


Campbellsville Middle School

New CMS Principal Elisha Rhodes said orientation at her school, which is now at the former CES building, will be Wednesday, July 31, for fourth- and fifth-grade students from 5 to 6 p.m. Students in grades six, seven and eight will attend from 6 to 7 p.m.

Rhodes said new students enrolling at the District for the first time can come to the school at 4:30 p.m. to begin registration paper work.

"Orientation is a time to familiarize both students and parents with the building, a time to meet teachers and staff, pick up their schedules for the upcoming school year and receive school supplies from the family resource and youth service center," she said.

"Orientation is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged. Parents and or guardians should attend with their middle school child."

Rhodes said students and parents don't need to bring anything with them to the orientation.

She said she wants to remind students and parents that MAP re-testing day will be Friday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Rhodes replaces David Petett as principal at CMS. Petett is now the District's director of district-wide services.

"We are looking forward to a great year at CMS," Rhodes said.


Campbellsville High School

CHS Principal Kirby Smith said registration for sophomores, juniors and seniors will be Tuesday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Freshman orientation/open house will be Wednesday, July 31, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Smith said the school will host a cookout for freshmen and their parents.

At orientation, CHS students will meet their teachers, pick up their schedules and be given a tour of their school.

Attendance isn't mandatory, Smith said, but parents and students are encouraged to attend. He said he believes the event is very beneficial and staff members can answer any questions students or parents have.


Taylor County Elementary School

Melissa Long, assistant principal, said orientation at her school is set for this Thursday, with kindergarten students attending from 5 to 7 p.m.

TCES will also host a kindergarten camp, which begins today and will end with orientation Thursday night.

Events today, tomorrow and Wednesday will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students will visit classrooms and tour the school today. Tomorrow and Wednesday, they will participate in activities and screenings.

On Thursday, camp will feature activities from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by the orientation at 5.

Lunch will be provided today through Wednesday and students will be given a snack on Thursday.

All students who want to participate in kindergarten camp should pre-register by calling 465-5691 or 465-3978.

Students in grades one through five whose last names begin with A through L will come to orientation on Tuesday, July 30, from 5 to 6 p.m. Students whose last names begin with M through Z will attend from 7 to 8.

"During orientation, students will meet their teacher and look around their classrooms," Long said. "It is a nice meet and greet time for students to orient themselves to their new environment."

Students will also tour the school, visit the cafeteria and take a look at a school bus.

"We do encourage parents to attend orientation as a way to get to know their new teacher and ask any questions they may have," Long said. "It is also a time for parents to complete necessary paperwork."

Students don't have to attend their orientation, she said, but are welcome.

Long said students don't have to bring anything with them to orientation, but can bring their school supplies to leave in their classroom, if they wish.


Taylor County Middle School

Principal Tony Jewell said TCMS will host sixth-grade transition camp today through Thursday.

"Cool School" camp is from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will give students a chance to familiarize themselves with the TCMS building, meet teachers and staff members, choose a locker and participate in activities.

Cost is $25 per student. Lunch will be provided, though breakfast will not.

Activities include chilly competitions, Minute to Win It games, crafts, a TCMS scavenger hunt, line dancing, a GPS activity and more. Students will be treated to homemade ice cream.

To register for camp, call 465-2877. Parents won't attend the camp.

Jewell said TCMS has not had an orientation for seventh- and eighth-graders for several years now.

Taylor County Superintendent Roger Cook began "bump up" days a few years ago to replace the orientations.

"This day is in May and allows students to attend their next year's classes and receive supply lists, etc.," Jewell said.

"Taylor County Middle School is looking forward to a fantastic year," he said.


Taylor County High School

TCHS Assistant Principal DiAnne Harris said there will be several orientation activities at her school.

New students can enroll on Wednesday, July 24, and Wednesday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This Wednesday through Friday will be the school's annual Freshman Focus Camp. All incoming freshman are invited to attend. There will be activities and information given to students to help acclimate themselves to the TCHS building.

On Friday, July 26, teachers will meet with freshman students and their parents from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

During orientation, Harris said, TCHS Principal Charles Higdon Jr. will speak to students and parents about what is expected from TCHS freshmen.

"Orientation is not mandatory, however it is highly recommended," Harris said.

"Parents and students can meet teachers, tour the building and ask questions. Our goal is to inform students and parents so that they are ready and excited about entering high school."


Kentucky Christian Academy

Lori Eubank, KCA administrator, said orientation for students in first through fifth grade will be Thursday, Aug. 1.

The parents of students in first through first grade are asked to come to the school at 5:30 p.m. Parents of second- through fifth-graders can come at 6:45.

Eubank said the night will allow KCA staff members to give parents all the general beginning of the school year information as well as a time to discuss the school's capital campaign to raise money for a new school building.

"We encourage all parents to attend," she said.

Registration for sonbeams, preschool and kindergarten students will be Friday, Aug. 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. Parents are encouraged to attend, Eubank said, but it's not mandatory.

Parents of sonbeams, preschool and kindergarten students can bring their child's school supplies and leave them in their classroom.

Back to School Series

This is the first of five stories with information to help students and parents prepare to head back to school. The series is as follows:

• July 22 - Orientations and calendars

• July 25 - Dress codes

• July 29 - Bus routes

• Aug. 1 - Starting times

• Aug. 5 - School Supplies

Photos from the first day of school at Campbellsville, Taylor County and Kentucky Christian Academy will be published in the Aug. 8 issue.