School starts in Montesano and Elma on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and while it’s safe to say that most students likely aren’t thrilled with the news, teachers, principals and staff have been gearing up for weeks for a new school year.
With a few exceptions, East County principals said little has changed at their schools over the summer, but they all noted that they and their staff were excited for a new school year and new crops of students at their schools.
“Nothing is out of the ordinary,” said Montesano High Jr./Sr. High Principal Alec Pugh. “We’re excited for a new group of seventh-graders and we’re just very excited about the start of school.”
Pugh did note that due to continuing construction of the new grandstand — structural steel and risers are being installed in this week — there is very limited parking in the school’s own parking lot and he said that will be the case until the grandstand work winds down later in the fall.
“Parking is a big issue. There are not a lot of parking spaces,” Pugh said. “We’re asking our parents and community members for some patience with the parking situation at the beginning of the school year.”
Meanwhile, both Simpson and Beacon elementary schools will hold orientation/open house on Thursday evening, Aug. 29, in preparation for the school year.
At Simpson, orientation is at 6 p.m. for sixth-graders, 6:30 for fifth-graders and 7 p.m. for fourth-graders. The Beacon open house will run from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday night. Students may bring their school supplies to the classrooms on that evening.
“We do our open house a little differently,” said Simpson Principal Stephanie Klinger. “It’s pretty informal. We just want to inform parents and students about academic expectations and what’s in store. We’re just excited about the year to come and we also have some new staff to introduce.”
Beacon Principal Craig Loucks said his school will be introducing three new teachers that night: Danielle Parker and Megan Sorenson will be teaching first-grade classes and Mary LaDue is the new kindergarten teacher.
Loucks said anybody within the district with questions about bus schedule or other transportation issues should call the transportation office at (360) 249-5454. The schools will also be providing more online access for parents, including the ability to change contact information or pay for food-service accounts online.
SATSOP AND ELMA
At Satsop School, Principal Marsha Hendrick said she has about 60 students enrolled for the school year that begins Tuesday.
She said there is nothing new to report at the school for this year.
“We’re just excited to start a new year and get our little children back,” Hendrick said.
Meantime, Elma High School Principal Kevin Acuff said that there really wasn’t anything new to report at the high school. The high school planned a big welcome back event on Wednesday, after The Vidette was already slated to be printed.
Elma Elementary School will hold an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 Thursday evening, including an ice cream social for those students who attend.
Other Elma school officials could not be reached for further comment.