Natchez-Adams students begin classes Thursday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The appearance of long yellow vehicles, children standing at the end of driveways and the ring of the bell can only indicate one thing &045; school is back in session.

For students in the Natchez-Adams School District, school starts Thursday, and those students will be greeted with many familiarities as well as changes.

At five of the eight schools in the district, students will see a new principal walking the halls of their schools &045; Fallin Career and Technology Center, McLaurin Elementary School, Morgantown Elementary School, Natchez High School and Frazier Primary School.

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And all of the schools have new teachers.

The new superintendent, Anthony Morris, also will be a new face around schools Thursday. Morris said he plans to visit every school on the first day of school, at some point throughout the day.

&uot;I’ll have my walking shoes on,&uot; Morris said.

Additionally, administrators from central office will be at various schools to make sure the first day of school runs smoothly.

Morris said he feels good about the first day of school. After the positive responses from the retreat and the convocation, Morris observed the faculty and staff seem excited about starting the school year.

He said the employees seem &uot;more motivated than they have been in a while.&uot;

One major change that parents and teachers should be aware of is the bus routes. Beginning the first day of school, new routes will be running throughout the county.

Ron Idom, general manager for Durham School Services, said four routes have been eliminated throughout the county and many students may be riding different buses than they have in the past.

Another change to the bus system is pickup locations. Instead of picking up students at every mailbox, the bus stops will be consolidated to every couple of mailboxes or other locations like the end of streets.

Idom said this change will &uot;improve traffic safety&uot; because it will not hold up traffic as much, and &uot;reduces the student retention time&uot; as far as how long it takes a student to get home.

Idom said buses should arrive at approximately the same time they did last year but students may want to get to the bus stop a little early just in case. Idom said some delays are inevitable the first few days but, &uot;hopefully by Monday we will have everything running like normal.&uot;

And drivers have been making dry runs, without children in the buses, to make estimates on times for the school year.

The bus drivers and the schools will have a list of what bus students ride to help with any confusion on the first day.

&uot;We made every effort wherever possible to have children on the same bus in the morning and afternoon,&uot; Idom said.

Also, primary school students that live in the city, will no longer be bussed to an elementary school before going home, cutting down on the time it takes them to get home.

However, primary school students outside the city limits will still be taken to the elementary schools.

Idom said parents with any questions, especially those with children changing schools or new to the district, should call Durham School Services at 445-2907.