Milestones mark school year’s start |

Milestones mark school year’s start

Douglas High School junior Brittany Oswald searches for the location of her first class on Monday morning.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

The Douglas High class of 2016 will be the last group of sophomores to enter the school for the first time that isn’t under construction.

By next fall work to expand the school to accommodate the freshman class will be under way.

Work on the high school is expected to be done in time for the class of 2019 to arrive in 2015, the first freshman class at the high school since 1994.

Construction on the high school will begin next spring, and this class of sophomores will see completion of the work.

“This will be the last class to see the commons the way it is,” Marty Swisher said. “There are lots of changes coming.”

It was also the first year where every elementary school implemented full-day kindergarten.

Douglas County Superintendent Lisa Noonan said she only made it to six schools on Monday, and was back in the car on Tuesday to get to the rest.

“I really appreciated how all the elementary schools do orientation for their kindergarten students ahead of time,” she said. “It gives parents and children that little extra touch in what can be quite a traumatic experience. It was a joy to see all the smiling faces and bright colors on the playground.”

The total number of students in the district this fall is projected to be around 5,800, a slight decrease over last year.

Noonan said the school district must keep students on the books for 10 days unless the family verifies they aren’t returning or the district gets a request for records from another school.

“My numbers aren’t real until after Labor Day,” she said. “And count day isn’t until the fourth week, because that’s when we know we have children in seats.”

Swisher said there were 535 sophomores registered at the high school on Monday. That number doesn’t reflect the actual number of students attending class, but those on paper.

“This is a good-sized class, it’s larger than the last two classes,” he said.

The district receives funding based on the number of students enrolled on count day at the end of September.