MOISD students return to school

OSCEOLA COUNTY — The school hallways are once again booming with the sounds of students as many districts began the first day of the 2015-16 year on Monday.

After three months of summer vacation, many students excitedly stepped off the bus, anxious to find their lockers, meet friends and settle down in their classes.

The first day of school excitement was just as full of energy as years past, even though students began classes a week earlier than normal.

During the summer, Curtis Finch, superintendent of the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District, worked to obtain a waiver from the Michigan Department of Education allowing students to start school before Labor Day.

Many school administrators believe an earlier start date will allow students to finish the school year earlier in June.

"It's really great to get the students back," Finch said. "I know the kids are excited and some even asked me why we didn't start earlier."

The MOISD staff were problem solving as students came back to school.

"With the Education Center construction finishing up, we are finding new problems to solve throughout the day," Finch said.

For example, staff worked together to find new routes around the building that is currently under construction.

Administrators also only had a chance to welcome in half of their students as many Career Center members were not in attendance.

"Some of the schools are not open yet and some are keeping the kids for the first few days," Finch said. "But the Education Center is full because those students don't go through a public school district."

Reed City Area Public Schools administrators and staff welcomed students for the first day of school, many with smiles from ear to ear.

"I'm really ready to get the ball rolling," said Tim Webster, RCAPS superintendent.

One of the many things Webster is looking forward to for the 2015-16 school year is watching how the new teachers adjust to the district.

"I hired eight new teachers this year," he said. "I am looking forward to having fresh ideas in the schools."

Staff at Evart Public Schools were excited how well the first day of school went.

"I think it's one of our smoother first days," said Howard Hyde, superintendent of EPS. "Parents of elementary school students tend to drop their students off the first day, so the second day the kids are learning how to use the bus and that makes it a little busier."

With the school year just getting started, Hyde believes an earlier start date will help the transition from summer vacation to early school days.

"It's nice because the students have two, four-day weeks," he said.

Pine River Area Schools will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8.