Cole R-I begins classes

Cole R-I began classes Thursday, Aug. 26. The district enrollment for the school year currently is 231 students at the high school, 125 students at the middle school with another 241 students at the elementary school which is around the same as last year according to Cole R-I Superintendent Jerry Hobbs.

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Cindy Wieberg's fourth graders recites the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag on Russellville's first day of school, Thursday, Aug. 23.

Each morning in Russellville the students will share announcements, say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and have a moment of silence.

The moment of silence has been added after research has proven it increases the test scores and reduces behavioral issues.

Hobbs said the school will have a 164-day calendar this year. This will mean 10 less school days, but we will add 30 minutes to each day. This will lead to over 1100 hours of instruction for the year which exceeds the state's minimum required 1044 hours of instruction. This new schedule change also allows the district to add an eighth period they will use in its "Response to Intervention" program.

"In this eighth period," Hobbs said, "we will provide individual and small group instructional support for students who need additional help. Our school motto is 'Expecting Excellence' and we strive to help our students reach their full potential to become a successful productive citizen upon graduation."

A challenge facing the district is the Foundation Formula once again not being fully funded again. They are predicting a nine percent reduction affecting all schools in the state. The transportation program has not been fully funded for many years and Hobbs said the district will only get approximately 39 percent of what is required to provide.

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