Excellent Start

JPS Classes Kick Off With ‘Fun’ Opening Week

Vice President Patrick Slagle and Superintendent Bret Apthorpe during Jamestown Public Schools regular board meeting Tuesday. Board members were briefed on the opening day of school and welcomed more staff members to the district. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

The Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education was briefed on the opening week of school during a regular meeting Tuesday.

Superintendent Bret Apthorpe described to the board the overall success of the opening week, ranging from guest speaker Andra Ackerman last Tuesday to students finally arriving on school busses Thursday.

“All around the school buildings it was fun,” Apthorpe said. “Very, very fun.”

Apthorpe told the board enrollment of students is down 55 students from 4,574 students for the 2017-18 school year to 4,519 students for the current 2018-19 school year. He noted that official enrollment numbers won’t be known until mid-October. While enrollment is down at this time, the Pre-K program is full with 400 students enrolled.

Joseph Pawelski, board member and representative for the Promise Fund, updated the board on the music instrument drive that was held on Sept. 8 at the high school. He said 65 instruments were collected for the music program and more than $1,000 in cash donations were received on Saturday. Since then, Pawelski said the district has received more than 10 instruments following the drive over the weekend. The Promise Fund decided to organize a music instrument drive to help provide support for the music program and make acquiring an instrument more accessible for students. Students in the music program are often obligated to rent or purchase their own instrument. Pawelski was hopeful the success of the instrument drive would relieve some of that burden.

“It was an unbelievable turnout,” he said.

In other news, the board also approved the professional services of architecture firm Clark Patterson Lee for $68,000 for the current Capital Outlay Project. Apthorpe said services will be put toward a security doors at the main entrance at Jamestown High School. Apthorpe said the project was already budgeted for and the approval of services Tuesday night was a formality.