Students returning to classes Thursday

High schoolers face earlier class time this year

By: Michael Arges
   When classes open Thursday for the 2000-2001 school year, students at the Ethel McKnight School will discover a new addition to their school.
   District classes begin Thursday, but freshman students attending Hightstown High School will attend an orientation program Wednesday, beginning at 8:45 a.m. Despite the early time, it will be the last opportunity for the high school students to sleep in – this year, first-period classes will begin at 7:45 a.m.
   Classes at the Kreps School begin at 8:25 a.m., and elementary schools open at 9 a.m.
   The new classroom wing at Ethel McKnight School heads the list of improvements awaiting students at East Windsor Regional Schools. The wing includes four new classrooms at the rear of the school.
   "They are simply beautiful, state of the art, very attractive," commented McKnight School Principal Martin Barlow. One of the rooms will be a special education class, one will house half-day classes for pre-school handicapped
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SHOULDN’T WE SAY DISABLED?-NT> students and the other two will house regular half-day kindergarten programs. About 100 students per day will use the new facility.
   "The new classrooms are very pleasant to look at; they are very roomy," Mr. Barlow noted. "Each room has its own lavatory facilities and a large storage closet. Each room is provided with four computer drops for computer hook-up. There’s a video drop in each room. There’s plenty of cubby space, chalkboard space, bulletin board space. Any teacher would be extremely excited to teach in a facility like that – I know I would!"
   Each classroom will begin the year with at least one computer.
   As he begins the new school year, Mr. Barlow is excited by the prospect of helping break in the new classrooms and of working with the new pre-school classes. He is especially excited to be working with two teachers who are new to the profession.
   "That’s exciting, because they’re so eager and starry-eyed – ready to get going. It’s very refreshing," he said. "I think we are going to have a dynamite school year!"
   Other notable changes in the district include new administrators. In a welcome message on the 2000-2001 school district calendar, Chief School Administrator David Witmer noted several administrative changes in the district. The listing includes new Director of Student Services Diane Collins, new high school assistant principal Christine McAlister, and Drew School Interim Principal Lucille Fisher. Ms. Fisher is filling in while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Dr. Denise Geier, who accepted a position of Director of Elementary Education in the Middletown School District.
   Dr. Whitmer’s message also mentioned several building improvements in addition to the new McKnight wing, including a repaired roof at the Kreps Middle School, auditorium painting and outside masonry work at Grace N. Rogers Elementary School, and a new handicapped-accessible bathroom at the high school.
   The Rogers School also will have a new sound system, donated by the school’s PTO, in operation later this month.