PIQUA — Students in the Piqua City School district were up bright and early on Monday morning lining up at bus stops with new book bags and new beginnings, for it was their first day of school.
According to Twitter updates, Superintendent Rick Hanes, and Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison, the first day went very well with no serious issues taking place. The Piqua Junior High’s Twitter page showed students getting to know each other, while Piqua Central Intermediate provided photos of students engaging with their new building and playground.
“Building things went extremely well,” Hanes said. “Greatly appreciate everyone prepping and getting ready, and everyone’s patience and flexibility as we got everything running for the first day.”
The three new buildings opened altogether for the first time this year, with over half of the population of the district experiencing these changes. One of those changes was implementing new start/end times for the buildings. The district also completely revamped the transportation system, which had some issues with buses being late.
“We are looking at how we can improve transportation. That takes some time, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility,” Hanes said. “The goal for the next few weeks is to smooth out bumps.”
The outside of buildings did not have any major incidents reported, even with the new school zones.
“Everything went really well, I’m really proud,” Jamison said. “It was good planning on the school’s part and good cooperation from parents and students, and even from citizens who don’t have children in school. Got people out in the construction area by the high school, but you can expect (minor) issues there.”
Although there were not as many police officers in school zones due to short staffing, the public should expect to see officers at any time during school hours looking for speed violators.
“We always try to get officers out there during school days … people should expect us to be there and should expect us to give a ticket,” Jamison said.
Jamison advises the public and motorists to watch kids, as they are still learning to apply good judgment, and their safety skills are not as developed as some may think.
“(Kids) are still learning to apply good judgment … expect the unexpected when driving through (school zones) and driving defensively,” he said.
Hanes said that there is no longer a student safety patrol in the district due to having designated areas for students and school zones having stop signs, stop lights, and crossing areas.
“We’ve really tried with the new buildings to have bus pick-up and drop-offs, and car areas/walk zones,” he said. Hanes said teachers and drivers work with students on traffic safety throughout the year.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340.