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Dawson students go back to school
A-Back to school pic 1
It was the first day of first grade for student Ella Carrington. Teacher Hillary Mullinax takes a moment to welcome and reassure her. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

The buses fired up early Friday morning and social media was flooded with the obligatory first day photos as Dawson County students headed back to school.

Almost 3,400 students in pre-k through 12th grade were enrolled to begin on Aug. 5, according to Lisa Miller, who is the district registrar for the Dawson County Board of Education.

"It has been a great first day in Dawson County Schools," said Superintendent Damon Gibbs. "Our enrollment is up slightly, as we predicted, and our team will be closely monitoring enrollment over the next several weeks.

"We had the traditional first day traffic woes, which should improve after the first few days," he said.

With the new school year came school realignments and Riverview Middle School became Dawson County Middle.

Sixth grade students from all four elementary schools converged to find their way to lockers and classes for the first time in the consolidated program.

DCMS held "Tiger Camp" from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 3 to give the incoming sixth graders some extra time to acclimate to the school, as well as the ins and outs of changing classes.

"Allowing students the opportunity to become familiar with their schedule, their teachers, the layout of the school and especially their lockers really eases the stress of the first day for our sixth graders," said Dr. Randi Sagona, principal of DCMS.

Sagona said she was pleased with the transition and the transportation.

"I was thrilled with how smoothly the first day went here at DCMS. All our buses arrived within 15 minutes of the time at which they were expected both this morning and this afternoon, which is the best I've ever seen in my 29 years of education," she said. "Our transportation department is truly to be commended for the excellent planning that went into the development of the bus routes across the district."

On the Dawson County Junior High School campus, it was only the eighth graders.

"We had a great day," said Jeff Clapper, principal at the junior high school. "Everything ran very smoothly thanks to efforts of our students, parents and staff.

"We are looking forward to having a great year at DCJHS."

Gibbs will be giving a school system update during the monthly Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Professional Development Center on Main Street.