Students gear up to return to school


Times Leader Staff Writer

MARTINS FERRY — As the summer winds down, students across the Ohio Valley are concluding their time at camp, on vacation and enjoying other summer pursuits to return to the classroom.

Teachers will welcome their students back to classrooms that were cleaned and restocked over the summer. Although many students are naturally reluctant to return to school year, educators say they will eventually fall into the old routine of lessons and homework, ready for another busy year.

Going back to school can be quite an endeavor for both teachers and students. For the children coming back and their parents, it means time spent in stores looking for necessary school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks, binders, backpacks and the other tools that are required for a full school experience. Parents often also buy new school clothes for their students, as well as signing up for lunch programs and filling out other forms required for their student to attend.

Teachers also have to get ready for school, just like the students attending class. Teachers usually arrive days before the students return, getting their rooms ready for class, arranging for necessary supplies for their lessons and writing lesson plans. Some administrators have been at local schools for some time already preparing for their students’ return, and they are eager to get back to having students in the halls once again.

“We’ve been up here for a month now. I’m ready,” laughed Ken Woodford, vice principal at Martins Ferry High School. “I’m excited about coming back.”

Woodford said the school has a couple of new programs in the works for the 2017-18 school year. Woodford said the school will continue with a program introduced last year to help encourage students to finish their assigned work. If a student misses a day of school or doesn’t complete a homework assignment, they will stay in a lab over lunch or after school to finish whatever work needs made up.

As Woodford put it, “taking an F” on a assignment is no longer an option. Woodford said that although the decision hasn’t made him very popular among some students, they have seen positive results and grade improvements and plan to continue the program.

MFHS Principal Joe Mamone also spoke about some programs he’s excited about this year, particularly focusing on student extracurricular activities. Mamone said that last year, the student gardening club was beginning to take off, with students transplanting flowers and other decorative plants to several beds near the events entrance to the school. He also said the school’s technology club works with 3-D printers, robots and other technologies to help members learn about creating and applying such inventions.

Mamone added that middle school art teacher Natalie Zambori has been the adviser for an art club that met over the summer, with students eagerly coming to school once a week to work on art projects. The program has been quite popular so far, according to Mamone.

“It really got to take off, so we’ll definitely keep expanding and continuing that,” he said.

Mamone added that he’s also always excited for athletic events and just the feeling of being back in session.

“We really enjoy working with the kids,” Mamone said. “It’s just really nice to interact with them and see them every day.”