Chesterton Tribune



'Happy smiles' reported in Duneland this morning as students return

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A lot of cheers and very few headaches were reported to the Chesterton Tribune this morning by principals of Duneland Schools as classes began today for the 2017-18 school year.

Summer has been heavy with road construction and paving, but Duneland Assistant Superintendents Monte Moffett and Jim Goetz said they have not heard any complaints from any of the nine buildings of students having trouble getting to school.

“I was over at the Middle School this morning and things are going good. It’s been busy, but all school buses and parents are getting to school on time,” said Goetz.

Moffett said he heard the Chesterton High School Principal Jeff Van Drie report that they too have seen a successful start.

CMS Principal Mike Megysei said there were “a lot of happy smiles” from the students with friends reconnecting and finding their classrooms and lockers with the help of teachers and administrators. The school hired ten new teachers and three new classified staff for the new school year, Megysei added, and teachers are enthusiastic to welcome over 1,000 students this morning.

Bally Elementary Principal Kevin Zeck said things are “very smooth” at his school this morning. This year, the school hosted a breakfast for new kindergarten parents.

“We are doing a superhero theme at the school this year and we are off to a super start,” Zeck said.

Nearby, Westchester Intermediate Principal Shawn Longacre said there were no problems getting students back.

“Due to the hard work by our teachers and staff, we’ve had a nearly perfect first day,” Longacre said.

Brummitt Elementary Principal Antonio Cammarata said the school was well-prepared this morning to welcome students. Parents were able to drop off their kids in the east parking lot and the buses made it on schedule.

“We had no problems. There were lots of happy kids and we are off to a good start,” Cammarata said.

Construction is no hurdle in the south part of the school district, but Liberty Elementary Principal Christy Jarka said she is “still knocking on wood” for a smooth first day.

“We usually celebrate the last day of school but this year we are celebrate the first day with bubbles as kids got to school. Everyone is glad to be back,” Jarka said.

The school year started earlier this year at Duneland and all Porter County public school districts so students can get done with the fall semester and exams by winter break, Goetz said. The school calendar did not add any more days for students, however.

“We still have 180 days for students. We just shifted things,” he said.

Goetz said no official numbers are available on whether school enrollment or attendance is up or down this year, but he expects the numbers to be about equal to last year.



Posted 8/14/2017





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