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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • First week of school almost a breeze

  • Hurricane Irene may have forced the Smyrna School District to start the new year one day late, but it didn’t have any other impact on the first week of school.


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  • Hurricane Irene may have forced the Smyrna School District to start the new year one day late, but it didn’t have any other impact on the first week of school.
    “The first week has gone smoothly. The kids all looked forward to coming back to school,” Superintendent Debbie Wicks said.
    Students returned to school on Aug. 30, one day later than originally planned. District officials postponed the first day because of Hurricane Irene which swept past Delaware Aug. 27 and 28.
    Juniors and seniors at Smyrna High reported to school on Aug. 31. This allowed freshmen and sophomores to become better acquainted with the high school on Aug. 30.
    During the 2010-2011 school year, freshmen were at Smyrna Middle School. Therefore, the incoming sophomores and freshmen are at the high school for the first time.
    The only issue the district had the first week actually had nothing to do with the storm and everything to do with the volume of new students at one particular school.
    “Our one difficulty was a gridlock on Tuesday at Sunnyside Elementary,” Wicks said, “So many parents came to drop off and pick up their children, and there were a lot more children than last year so we had some issues.”
    Wicks said there were 140 new students at Sunnyside this year, partially because the district redrew the boundaries for the elementary schools to help balance enrollment.
    Therefore, administrators and Smyrna Police were helping with traffic at the school last week. Staff members were trained on how to deal with the high volume at Sunnyside.
    As the week went on, Wicks said they were making progress with the traffic issue.
    Other than the traffic at Sunnyside, Wicks said everything else ran smoothly at the other schools.
    As for the rest of the district, they do not have a headcount yet on how many students have enrolled this year but as a whole there are more students in the district.
    “We don’t have a headcount because there are still students getting registered and some students may not show up (until after Labor Day),” Wicks said, “but there are more students in the district and definitely more students in Sunnyside.”
    New principal appointed at JBM
    The search for a new principal for John Bassett Moore Intermediate School began earlier this summer when then principal Derek Prillaman announced he would be leaving to work in the Caesar Rodney School District.
    Page 2 of 2 - Since then, Associate Principal Elyse Baerga has been chosen to be the new principal at JBM. Therefore, now the search is on for a new associate principal for JBM.
    Wicks said there are seven candidates who have applied for the position. Wicks and other district administrators were conducting interviews on Thursday for the position.
    Other administrative changes
    Hiring for a new associate principal at JBM isn’t the only administrative change the school district may be making.
    One such change may come at Sunnyside Elementary School.
    “We may have enough new students that we’ll have to hire a new associate principal,” Wicks said, “Before, Sunnyside only qualified for a principal.”
    Later in the fall, the district also will be looking for a principal for Clayton Intermediate School.
    “Even though the school won’t open until next year, some schools hire a principal early to help set up the school, order books and do the curriculum,” Wicks said.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.

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