BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
The days are getting shorter, buzzing cicadas fill the evening air, some nights are cooler — all signs that summer is waning, and a new school year is right around the corner.
Administrators at Trenton Public Schools and St. Joseph Catholic School have been checking off items on their summer to-do lists as they, too, note the subtle seasonal changes.
Grounds have been spruced up, windows and rugs are cleaned, floors are waxed, and soon school staffs will be putting their rooms back together.
Among the summer projects TPS will complete this month are repairs to school parking lots and the repaving of the play area behind Hedke Elementary School. Administrators also expect the Phonak Dynamic Sound Fields to be in place by the start of the school year. With the help of Trenton Educational Foundation and a $60,000 grant, the district has purchased 48 new sound fields and 20 pass-around microphones.
One thing TPS administrators didn’t have on their summer agenda was filling teaching vacancies left by eight retirements last spring. Ann Deneroff, curriculum director, said positions were filled by the end of the school year, with the exception of a new teacher for the hearing impaired program, who was hired over the summer.
But, before the year is officially under way (more on those dates below), school families will gather for fellowship and fun at events this month.
On Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m., TPS will dedicate the high school natatorium in honor of Jim Lawrence, longtime swim coach who died last February of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The program will start at the high school and continue at the Westfield Activities Building.
Members of the THS Class of 1967 will be in town Aug. 12 for their 50th reunion, which includes a tour of the high school.
The St. Joseph Catholic School community kicks off the school year Aug. 19 with a Hoedown at the Trenton Cultural Center. Here’s the lowdown: The event is a fundraiser for the school and will feature a pig roast, food trucks and children’s activities, along with a beer tent, vendors and a variety of desserts. The fun is scheduled for 1-10 p.m. There is a $10 fee only for the beer tent, which includes a beer mug.
St. Joseph will be the first to welcome students back. Classes start Aug. 21 for first- through eighth-graders (a half day). Kindergartners start Aug. 24 (an orientation is at 6 p.m. the night before). The first day off will be Sept. 1 – Friday of Labor Day weekend and the start of a four-day weekend.
On Sept. 6, orientation is planned for 3 and 4-year old preschool families. The 4-year-olds will attend a Meet and Greet Sept. 8 with their official first day Sept. 11 from 8-11 a.m. Those in the 3-year-old class will have their Meet and Greet Sept. 12 with their first day Sept. 14 from 8-10:30 a.m.
The school was featured last month in a video broadcast on the Catholic Legacy Michigan, which features local faith stories.
For TPS students, the first day of school across the district is Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day, morning session only. Start times are 8:30 a.m. for kindergarten through fifth grade, 8:10 a.m. for sixth, seventh and eighth grade, and 7:30 a.m. for ninth through 12th. Students enrolled in special education classes also report Sept. 5 to the same building as last year, unless otherwise notified.
Full days are scheduled the remainder of that week.
In preparation for the start date, mandatory meetings and orientations are scheduled for students attending Arthurs Middle School and Trenton High School. Administrators will review important rights and responsibilities, students will be issued handbooks and locker assignments, and school pictures will be taken.
On Aug. 28 at 10:30 a.m., incoming freshman and all new students should meet in the THS cafeteria. Sophomores are expected at 8:30 a.m. the same day.
On Aug. 29, returning juniors should meet at the school at 8:30 a.m., followed by returning seniors at 10:30.
Incoming sixth-graders and all new students at Arthurs are expected to attend a Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) orientation from 8-10:30 a.m. Aug. 31. Students should dress comfortably and bring a water bottle, labeled with their names. They should be dropped off in front of school.
Families interested in registering children at St. Joseph or TPS, can still do so. St. Joseph is located at 2675 Third St. (734) 676-2565. For TPS, enrollment packets are available at the Neil E. Van Riper Administration Building, 2603 Charlton Road, adjacent to the high school (734) 676-8600.