MSD Prepares for Students’ Return


By Terry Rogers

Milford School District will welcome Kindergarteners, sixth graders and ninth graders to school on August 31 while all other students begin school on September 5 this year. The District is busy preparing schools for students to return, preparing class schedules and assigning students to bus routes. So that students have a smooth transition into school, Superintendent Dr. Kevin Dickerson suggests that parents who have just moved into the district or have a five-year old who should enter Kindergarten this year, register those students as soon as possible.

“If your family has had an address or daycare change this summer and you have not communicated this with the school or Transportation Office, you should do so immediately so appropriate busing can be arranged,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Transportation personnel are located in the District Office for the convenience and support of our students and families. For ensuring student transportation for the first day of school, families are kindly asked to make transportation changes and requests by August 22. Changes can be made at any time, but we cannot guarantee transportation for the first day if a change is made after August 22.”

Dr. Dickerson explained that the date is to ensure that contractors and drivers have the necessary time to prepare for the routes and safe transportation of all students. He said that the District tries to make the turnaround time for bus changes as quickly as possible, but that it does take time to get all the details to the people responsible for safely transporting students to school. On August 9 and again on August 21, the District Office will remain open until 8 PM so that transportation specialists can assist any families who cannot visit the office during normal office hours to make transportation changes.

Kindergarten registration has gone smoothly this year, Dr. Dickerson said, and many parents who have children entering school for the first time have already taken steps to register them. Families who have not are strongly encouraged to visit Morris very soon during regular office hours of 8 AM until 4 PM, Monday through Friday. Children must be five years old by August 31 to begin kindergarten. Parents must bring an official state copy of the child’s birth certificate with a raised seal, immunization records, proof of residency that shows they live within Milford School District and any guardianship or custody records. Proof of residency must be a utility bill, lease, mortgage document or other official document with a home address. Students must also provide a physical examination, Tuberculosis Risk Assessment or PPD and lead test results.

Parents whose child will enter Kindergarten should contact Morris Early Childhood Center at 302-422-1650 to learn more about Kindergarten requirements. Dr. Dickerson also wants parents to be aware that the first week of school can be challenging as children begin to get used to the more restrictive schedule after a relaxed summer.

“Our bus drivers do a great service in driving their routes prior to the beginning of the school year to gain a better understanding for estimated pickup times and to ensure routes are appropriate for the beginning of the school year,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Though transportation cards with pick-up and drop-off times are sent to families prior to the school year, families may receive more exact pick-up and drop-off times from a bus contractor or driver call home prior to the school year. If they do receive such a call, those times are what the parents should be prepared for.”

Dr. Dickerson asks that parents be patient with pick-up and drop-off times during the first week of school as times may vary some as drivers become more familiar with their students and changes in traffic patterns must be sorted out.

“Even through the school year, times can vary some depending on traffic patterns and weather,” Dr. Dickerson explained. “If a bus is running a few minutes late, especially during the first few weeks of school, we please suggest that parents don’t panic and call their child’s school with any questions or concerns they may have. As students wait at their bus stop during the year, we remind families to ensure that their children are dressed appropriately for weather. The first day of a student riding a bus to school is a great experience for our students and families. We encourage Morris families to enjoy this moment. As we need to keep buses on schedule, we please request our Morris families to have their children outside and at their bus stop 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled bus pick-up time and to please begin taking any pictures prior to the bus arrival.”

There are no significant changes in the Milford dress code for the upcoming year, but Dr. Dickerson recommends that parents review the policy before shopping for school clothes this summer. Students are provided printed copies of all policies during the first day of school. The Student Code of Conduct was recently updated to ensure alignment of school discipline offenses with state codes and appropriate due process procedures.

 

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