Students in Belton, Florence and Gatesville headed back to school Monday. 

“We are off to a great start this morning,” said Florence Independent School District Superintendent Paul Michalewicz. “Everyone seems to be genuinely excited about getting this school year started.”

Michalewicz said enrollment is up on all three campuses within the district and the numbers are expected to generally trend upward.

The back-to-school traffic Monday included projected enrollments of 11,593 students in Belton, 3,000 in Gatesville and 1,060 in Florence. Classes already began Aug. 15 for Copperas Cove ISD’s 8,143 students and on Aug. 16 for 3,500 Lampasas ISD students.

“We are extremely pleased with the first day of school,” said Gatesville Assistant Superintendent Barrett Pollard. “It was great to see all of the smiling faces on our returning and new students alike.”

Pollard said he visited each of Gatesville’s five campuses Monday morning and that students and staff appeared to have settled quickly into the morning routine.

Belton district officials said the school year started on the right track with no major issues reported.

Gatesville and Florence ISDs hosted meet-the-teacher events last week, at which students on all campuses were able to meet their professors ahead of the academic year.

The event is an important part of the back-to-school season, according to district administrators throughout the region.

“By allowing the parents and students to meet their teacher before the first day of school, we feel that it helps reduce the anxiety and nervousness students may have on the first day,” Pollard said.

According to Michalewicz, FISD has received positive feedback from parents regarding these events.

“Our parents feel comfortable with what their children will experience and everyone starts ready to hit the ground running,” he said.

Killeen ISD has an expected enrollment of 45,000 students and Salado ISD anticipates 1,904, all of whom will head back to school next Monday.

KISD is slated to host meet-the-teacher night Thursday at home campuses.

The event will run from 4 to 6 p.m. for elementary schools and 5 to 7 p.m. for middle schools.

“Meet the Teacher night is a very valuable opportunity for parents to get plugged in to the learning progress and to know how to help their kids,” said Terry Abbott, KISD chief communications officer.

High schools will be hosting open house events shortly after the start of the school year and parents are encouraged to contact their student’s home campus to find out more details.

FME News Service contributed to this report. | 254-501-7557

Educational Reporter

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