By Shandi Dix, Fort Riley Public AffairsAugust 17, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - With new backpacks and clothes, sharpened pencils and unused crayons, students in the Geary County Unified School District 475 at Fort Riley began the 2010-2011 school year Aug. 16 with a half day of classes.
Amy Alston dropped off her first-born daughter, Juliane, for her first day of kindergarten in Tiffany Junghans' class at Morris Hill Elementary School.
Alston said she prepared Juliane for her first day of school, and it paid off, with Juliane getting right to work on a coloring page after arriving at school.
"We came and did the meet and greet with the teacher," Alston said. "We've been talking about school for the last month, getting her excited. Saturday I let her choose anything she wanted to do - swimming."
With a hug and kiss from mom, Juliane went right back to her coloring, and mom took a few more pictures from the doorway.
Juliane was among 275 students who began the school year at Morris Hill Elementary School.
"This is 20 more (students) than we had at any point last year," said principal Greg Lumb. "I expect we will enroll more in the next three weeks."
After the first day of school, enrollment was up among other Fort Riley schools as well.
With 40 more students than in 2009-2010, Jefferson Elementary School began the year with 313 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Ware Elementary School's enrollment was up 63 students, with 710 students enrolled. Custer Hill Elementary School began the school year with 371 students enrolled; up from the 350 enrolled on the first day of school last year.
Remaining about the same as last year's enrollment, Fort Riley Elementary School had 364 students beginning the 2010-2011 school year. Fort Riley Middle School began the year with 631 students.
Lumb, who is in his 16th year as principal at Morris Hill, said the schools have gone through many preparations to begin the new school year.
This year's preparations at Morris Hill included classroom assignments and making schedules, as well as hiring staff and support personnel.
"This is always an exciting time of the year," Lumb said. "It's fun to see the students eager to return to school. I love seeing the blend of returning and new students. On post, our dynamics will always be changing and this makes every day new and different."
A welcome back assembly was scheduled at Morris Hill to provide students with information on procedures.
Parents who still need to enroll their students may stop at any of the post schools to do so. School officials will help guide them to the school their children should attend. Now that school has officially begun, the school a child will attend will be determined by class sizes.
For more information on enrollment, visit http://intranet.usd475.org/depts/communications/Web%20Pages/Enrollment.aspx.