Local Schools Answer Some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions Heading into New School Year
CLARION COUNTY, Pa. (EYT) – As local schools gets ready to start in the next couple of weeks, EYT Media was curious as to what were some of the most frequently asked questions of school districts heading into the school year.
So, we reached out to area schools to see what questions they have received.
The answers ranged anywhere from “Can I get into the building to tour it before school starts?” to “What homeroom is my child in?” to “When will the bus come?” to “What kind of school supplies does my kid need?”
At North Clarion Junior-Senior High School, Courtney Lauer is in her first year as the secretary. She said one of the most frequent questions she has seen this summer is young students and parents wanting to tour the school.
“We let students tour anytime as long as a secretary is in the office,” said Lauer. “We can either show them around or they can do it themselves.”
At Franklin Junior-Senior High School, there will be an orientation night for seventh graders and any other student new to the school.
“Seventh-grade orientation is August 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.,” said Sally Carr, a secretary in the Franklin High School office. “No registration is needed. It is open to all seventh graders or any new student coming to the high school. They are all welcome to come.”
Punxsutawney is also holding a seventh-grade orientation night which will also serve as a back-to-school night for seventh through 12th grade.
“We will have notices on our website for orientations and the first day of school both for the high school and the elementary school,” said Jeff Long, principal of Punxsutawney Junior-Senior High School. “August 29 is both the seventh-grade orientation and the back-to-school night for all students in seventh through 12th grade. The seventh-grade orientation is at 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium and the back-to-school night will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.”
Other frequently asked questions are “What homeroom is my child in?” or “What time does the bus come?”
According to Kris Hamilton, who is in her 21st year as a secretary at the Clarion-Limestone Elementary School, that information is available in a couple of different ways at C-L including in local newspapers – C-L didn’t make the deadline this year because of a new system but it will appear before the start of school she said – as well as in mailings to students’ homes.
“The week before school starts, they get the information in the mail,” said Hamilton. “A lot of parents, especially those of incoming kindergarten students, know school starts August 27 and want to know those answers. But, we are still getting new students and placing them. That information will arrive a few days before school starts.”
Hamilton also said the same goes for what time a student’s bus will arrive and where the bus stop will be.
“That will all be part of the information we mail out,” added Hamilton.
In Punxsutawney, Long believes the transportation information is also mailed out to all students and parents.
“We also get requests for student parking at the high school and other things that are for subsets,” Long said. “But, the parking deadline has already passed.”
The office staff at Hickory Grove Elementary School in Brookville, which has grades third through sixth, said that the information on what teacher the student has can be found in the local newspaper or on the parent portal.
The parent portal in Brookville actually leads to another question, according to Molly Smith, a secretary at Hickory Grove.
“We get calls asking if we can help with the parent portal because they forgot their username and/or password,” explained Smith.
If a parent forgets their username and password, that information should be able to be recovered online with the e-mail address given when they set up their login to the portal.
Hamilton said another question she gets a lot at C-L is from parents wanting to know if they can come into school the first day and take pictures for their kids’ scrapbooks.
“The answer is ‘No,’” Hamilton said. “They need to do that stuff at their doorstep, driveway, or at the bus stop.”
At Franklin, Carr said another frequent question she gets asked is what day school starts – August 27 in the case of Franklin and August 26 in the case of Brookville and September 3 in Punxsutawney. Information on all school start days is available on the individual district website.
A couple of other questions the office staff at Hickory Grove receives is “What is being served for breakfast and lunch?” and “What is the cost?” That information, as it is in most area school districts, is also available on the school district website.
Students in Punxsutawney – and now DuBois – don’t have to worry about what breakfast and lunch costs because those districts are now offering free meals.
“Every student K through 12 eats breakfast and lunch for free at Punxsutawney,” Long said. “That is a program we have had in place for a couple of years.”
Questions about school supplies are another frequent question schools get before the start of the school year.
“We also get a question about what supplies a child needs,” Smith said. “We don’t really have a list, but the common ones include pencils, pens, notebooks, and backpacks.”
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