Officials report few problems.
It was back to school time on Monday for Frederick County Public School Students. Nearly 41,000 kids were greeted by about 3,000 teachers, support personnel, administrators, bus drivers and other employees at each of the school system's 64 schools.
"There are always a few glitches on the first day as people try to learn their new routines and figure out where their classrooms are and where their buses are," says Michael Doerrer, Communications, Engagement and Marketing Director for the local school system. "But, all in all, there were really no problems we could really point to. It was just a matter of learning new things and getting the routine down."
As part of the first day of school, Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban and her leadership team visited several schools to greet students and share in the excitement of the beginning of another school year. But Doerrer says the superintendent and her staff were there to talk about specific issues. In Dr. Alban's case, it was the promise of public education. "The idea that it's what enables success for so many people," he says. "She was also focusing on the idea of community and how public education builds communities and the importance of our schools to our communities."
Dr. Ablan visited Linganore High, and met with the students and staff. Chief Operating Officer Ann Bonitatibus and Special Education Director Dan Martz visited several schools with programs that make the local public school system unique, including Lewistown Elementary School, which has the Pyramid Program for students who need intensive special education and therapeutic services in small group settings. The other schools with this program as Ballenger Creek and New Market Middle Schools, and Tuscarora and Walkersville High Schools.
While Frederick County's first day of school went off with few problems, the first day in Baltimore County was marred by a shooting. A 17-year-old student at Perry Hall High School was shot by another student in the cafeteria. The victim was taken to the hospital. Doerrer says something like this is always on the minds of school system officials. "The safety of our students is out number-one priority," he says. "It's the number-one priority of our bus drivers, our school administrators and our teachers."
Frederick County Public School will hold 180 days of classes throughout the 2012-2013 academic year.