By KELLY T. BURHOP
N-O-W School District superintendent
Athletic practices and games have begun which means the start of school is right around the corner. Here is an update on what has been going on at the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District.
Thank you for your patience with the installation of the new driveway leading to the school’s parking lot. It will be opened for use Friday, Aug. 25. The driveway has been sodded on the north side and seeded on the south side. The sodded and seeded areas will be roped off. There will be no parking on the grass area off the new driveway for events.
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The state biennial budget for the 2017–18 and 2018–19 fiscal year has not been approved by the state legislature nor signed by the governor. The state fiscal year coincides with the school district fiscal year, starting July 1 and ending June 30 of the following year. The N-O-W School District has been operating for close to two months in the 2017–18 fiscal year without a clear understanding of what revenues the district will get from the state. Due to that, employee contracts, along with other supply requests, have been put on hold until the state legislature and governor approve a two-year budget. Obviously what is decided in Madison directly impacts school district operations and your tax levy. I will keep you posted when the 2017–18 biennial budget is passed and prior to the budget hearing and annual meeting on Monday, Oct. 30.
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The custodians have done an excellent job in getting the buildings and grounds prepared for the new school year. I want to commend the custodial staff for the great job they have done over the summer.
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The parking area between the elementary student playground and the elementary and district offices will be closed between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to all parking during the school year. It will be a handicap-parking area only after school hours, during events. If you do not have a visible handicap permit, parking is not allowed in this area, as the district needs to keep the driveway open as a fire lane.
• All school bus routes will remain the same as last year. Pick-up and drop-off times will be very close to last year as well. If there is a significant change, your school bus driver will get a hold of you with pickup and drop-off information. The district is having a school bus driver’s meeting on Aug. 30. After that meeting, someone from the school will contact the parents of children new to the school district or parents of children who have moved within the school district boundaries with the name of your bus driver, along with the pickup and drop-off times.
• Back-to-School Night is Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the first day of school is Friday, Sept. 1.
• Qualifications for free and reduced lunches were printed in the Aug. 16 edition of the County Line. If you qualify, please consider coming to the school and completing a free and reduced school lunch application. These forms are available in the high school office. Contact Shirley Gibson if you need a free or reduced lunch application. The N-O-W School District increases its revenues in food service and in certain state categorical aids with a higher free and reduced lunch participation.
• There is a major change for parental drop-off of students in the morning. For student safety, the area by the district office will be blocked off. No cars will be allowed in that area from 6:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. To drop off your children in the morning, drive down the second line of parking from the school. Once you get to the crosswalk, stop, and unload your children there. Do not drive down the first line of parking, where the school buses unload. This creates a safety issue and slows down the bus-unloading process. Maps were mailed to all parents earlier this summer.
The staff at the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District eagerly looks forward to working with children and parents in a positive way. I look forward to the start of a new school year. If anyone has questions about the start of the school year, please contact me here at the school (608) 337-4403.