BISD starts school year with 300 more students
Thursday, 06 September 2012 by Matthew Girard
With 300 more students enrolled than last year, the Belton Independent School District got the 2012-13 school year kicked off on Monday.
This year, BISD had 9,579 children enrolled on the first day of school.
Despite the increased numbers, BISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said the first day went well, as expected.
"We had a great first day," Kincannon said. "It went very smoothly. Of course, we are crowded at all of our schools, especially at the high school, but things went smoothly everywhere."
During the first day, hundreds of parents escorted their children inside the various schools and the excitement in the air was palpable.
"Every new year is filled with new excitement and new hope," said Pirtle Elementary School Principal Pam Neves, who was helping direct children outside the school on Monday morning. "We are excited about the kids coming back to school."
Neves said she was expecting around 800 children at Pirtle.
Kincannon said the first week, the district will be looking at "leveling" out class sizes in order to serve the students better.
"We have a few classes that we will have to level out to equalize grade levels," Kincannon said.
Although each school will be challenged with increased numbers, Neves said the focus is still the same.
"We've been talking a lot in our staff development sessions about how high levels of engagement," Neves said. "We want our students to be engaged in learning and be on task at all times."
Another new feature for the new school year will be the introduction of iPads to Belton High School students.
Kincannon said BHS students won't be issued their iPads until September.
"We are going to settle into school first and do some Internet safety training with the students and then we will roll those out in September," Kincannon said.
District-wide, Kincannon said her and her staff will be working on a number of things for this year.
"We have a wide range of things that we are working on, but we are continuing on long-range planning, particularly at the elementary school level, and continuing to focus on the STAR assessments and end of course exams," Kincannon said.