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Aug. 23 first day of school in Mon


Preparations are full go for the Monongalia County school year.

Classes begin for most students on Aug. 23.

“If you’re not sure what school you’re supposed to be going to, you’re brand new to the area and you’re not sure where your attendance zone is, there are some tricky ones in Monongalia County, just call the board office,” Monongalia County School Superintendent Eddie Campbell said.

Some start times at select buildings have been adjusted, and all parents should check the Monongalia County Schools website for the most accurate information for the first day of classes. Campbell stressed that if parents know where their child is attending, they should contact that building, not the central office.

“There have been some changes to schedules, so some start times for schools have been adjusted,” Campbell said. “Get on the website; all of that is listed there — exactly what time school starts this year, so check that out.”

Campbell said changes to the transportation plan make it possible for students to have the same bus driver for both the trip to school and home. It’s taken a matter of years to make the transition, and Campbell believes the students and drivers will reap the benefits of the change.

“I think it’s going to be a real benefit for our kids and the relationships they build with those drivers, which is so important,” Campbell said. “But that has really driven the minor changes to our school schedules.”

Thanks to recent legislative action, aides will be introduced to first graders this year. Campbell said the addition creates continuity of support during the early learning years.

“We think that’s really going to benefit those first-grade students,” Campbell said. “Now we’ll have aides in Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade, so that’s probably the biggest change we’ll see from a staffing standpoint.”

Following an investigation into abuse in a North Elementary School special needs classroom that resulted in multiple firings, Campbell said that remains a difficult area. Many qualified special educators are deciding to leave those classrooms for other teaching assignments.

“It’s our most needy population of students, and it’s probably one of the most inexperienced areas that we have from a staffing standpoint,” Campbell said. “And that’s not unique to Monongalia County, that’s nationwide.”