BELPRE - The halls of Belpre Elementary School were again filled with students and teachers as the school held its annual Back to School Rally on Tuesday.
"It is great to be here to welcome the kids and get the school year started in a positive light," said third-grade teacher Mary Miller.
The event was held at the school with games, music, hot dogs and drinks for all students and family members.
Parents and children, many carrying bags and boxes of classroom and school supplies, stand in line in front of Belpre Elementary School Tuesday evening during the annual Back to School Rally. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
New school principal Joy Edgell welcomed kids and parents to the event and handed out meal tickets with maps so they could navigate their way to the students' new classrooms where the teachers were waiting.
"There is a lot of excitement about the new school year," Edgell said.
Parent Bryan Ward had his children at the rally and walking through the school to meet new-to-them teachers.
"It's great," he said. "I'm glad the school does this so the kids won't be so nervous to meet their teacher on the first day."
Debbie Smith, a fifth-grade English and Reading teacher, was immediately hugged by two of her students from the previous school year the instant she stepped out of her car.
"I'm always excited to see my readers and, I guess, they are excited to see me," Smith laughed.
Many of the kids and their parents were carrying bags and boxes of classroom and school supplies, as Edgell had encouraged those items to be brought early.
"I like that the supplies are coming in now," Miller said. "It is a lot easier on the kids, especially the little ones because now they won't have to carry in a lot of stuff on their own the first day."
The event was free for everyone and sponsored by Partners in Education Peoples Bank and Orion Industries, formerly Evonik Degussa Engineered Carbons.
This rally began the new school year as teacher orientation will be today, the first day back for all staff is Thursday with professional development and the first day of classes for Belpre students will be Aug. 20.
In Wood County, students start back to school Aug. 22. Most schools are holding orientation/open house events on either Aug. 20 or Aug. 21.
Blennerhassett Middle School orientation, on Aug. 20, will start at 5:30 p.m. for sixth-graders.
Jim Hostottle, principal at Blennerhassett Middle School, said they typically have good attendance with 80 to 90 percent of the kids coming in.
"The kids will get their class schedules, locker combinations, all parent information," Hostottle said.
Waverly Elementary is hosting an open house/ice cream social. Lubeck is hosting a Family PEP night with activities and snacks.
Wood County Schools open house/orientation:
* Aug. 20
Blennerhassett Middle School, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Emerson Elementary, 3:30-6 p.m.
Lubeck Elementary, 5-8 p.m.
Kanawha Elementary, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Gihon Elementary, 5 p.m.
Edison Middle School, 5:30 p.m.
Neale School (kindergarten orientation only)
* Aug. 21
Madison Elementary, 4:30 p.m.
Vienna Elementary, 6-8 p.m.
Waverly Elementary, 4-6 p.m.
Williamstown Elementary, 4 p.m.
* Aug. 27
Neale School open house dinner
* Aug. 29
Jackson Middle School, 6-8 p.m.