By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Nearly 6,000 students will be taking their classroom seats Tuesday morning when the 2013-14 school year begins at each of Stillwater’s 10 public schools.
Elementary school enrollment at the six schools is 3,234 students. Stillwater High School will have 1,056 students, followed by 852 students at Stillwater Middle School and 795 students at Stillwater Junior High School.
“We’re ready. We’re ready for 6,000-plus students,” Superintendent Ann Caine said. “The buildings are in great shape, our staff is ready. ... I think this will be our best year ever.”
The district includes approximately 420 teachers, including 48 teachers who are new to the district or new to the profession.
Students will be in class at different times this year. The Stillwater Board of Education approved a measure last spring on the new starting times. High school and junior high classes will now begin at 9 a.m., one hour later than last year, and let out at 4 p.m. The middle school will start at 8:30 a.m. Each of the elementary schools will begin at 8 a.m., 55 minutes earlier than last year.
New school boundaries will take effect this year for the elementary schools, although only about 400 of the 3,000 students will have to change schools.
The district will provide free breakfasts to every student in the district beginning Tuesday.
Teachers and support staff will return to classes with a new contract for the 2013-14 school year. The new contract was ratified on Friday. The school board will vote to approve the negotiated contracts at a special meeting at 8 a.m. Monday.
Construction is nearing completion at Highland Park Elementary School and Will Rogers Elementary School.
Highland Park will open on time, while Will Rogers is expected to be ready by Sept. 27.
For the first three weeks of school at Highland Park, the district will provide school resource officers to help students cross the road at Drury Street and Sixth Avenue.
The district will transport students to and from school with a bus fleet that includes 19 regular routes and four routes for special needs students. There are 23 regular drivers, three aides, four full-time substitutes and three part-time substitutes.
Specific bus routes and times can be seen on the district’s website at www.stillwaterschools.com and hitting the “Bus Routes” button on the main page of the site.
Lunch and breakfast menus for each school are posted online at the district’s website and appear in Sunday’s editions of the NewsPress.
The Stillwater Public Education Foundation will hold its major fundraiser of the year Sept. 24 at a gala at the OSU Alumni Center. The black tie affair annually raises funds to pay for two rounds of grants issued to teachers during the year.