by Megan Schiffres
CLARAVILLE—Classes at Northumberland County Public Schools will begin at 8:05 a.m. Tuesday, September 3. A total of 1,297 students will be welcomed back by teachers, administrators and staff members.
“Our principals and school board staff strategically plan all summer for the upcoming school year, focusing on how we can improve, and it’s always great when our teachers, support staff, students, and families return. We truly are a school family,” said superintendent Holly Wargo.
Eight new teachers will join the district, including Virginia Mozingo and Paula Jett at the elementary school; Leandro Caban, Anthony Markish and Karissa Barnes at the middle school; and Madeline Lee and Genia Powell at the high school. The district’s new band director, Madeline Lee, will split her time teaching at the middle and high schools.
There will be an increased emphasis on the importance of encouraging students to attend school every day with a campaign called “Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow: Every Day Counts,” said Wargo. The campaign is designed to encourage consistent, daily attendance for all children in order to ensure quality learning, mastery of skills and career and college readiness.
Beginning this year, all students attending the elementary, middle and high schools in Northumberland will receive a free breakfast and lunch every day. The school district will be reimbursed for the cost of providing free meals to its students through the Community Eligibility Provision, a program created by Virginia Hunger Solutions that offers free breakfast and lunch to schools with 40% or more students living in poverty or requiring financial assistance.
“We also tried to modify our menus in each school so that breakfast and lunch choices include menu options that students enjoy. I asked our school nutrition director to meet with our principals, and they tried to remove items from the menu that historically end up being thrown away, and they replaced these items with nutritional choices that are more popular with students,” she said.
There have been no changes to school fees. Agenda replacement costs $5, parking permits are sold for $30, and gym locker rentals cost $2. Gym uniforms at the middle school cost $14, and can be worn in high school gym class. However, if students want to purchase a new uniform in high school, they are available for purchase from $13-$19, depending on the size.
Students celebrated the start of the school year with a pep rally Saturday, August 24, at Northumberland High School.
(More Back to School details may be found in the C Section of this week’s Record.)