Last day of school brings plans for summer|[05/23/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2008

Now that the 2007-08 school year is over, Warrenton Elementary Principal Ray Hume has a few thoughts.

It’s been a good year, but he’s glad summer break is here.

“When you get to this stage of the year and it’s been successful, you want to end it on a really great note. That’s what we did,” he said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Vicksburg Warren School District students, around 9,000 of them, attended their last day of school Thursday.

Porters Chapel Academy’s last day was Wednesday, and Vicksburg Catholic School finishes up today.

Thunderstorms forced Vicksburg High’s graduation from Memorial Stadium Thursday night to Vicksburg Auditorium. Warren Central’s graduation is scheduled for the school’s stadium tonight, weather permitting. If rain comes, it will be moved to the Warren Central gymnasium.

At Warrenton, the last day of school was marked by a talent show. As various students performed, the audience sang along and waved their arms.

That participation is an example of what Hume said made this year so great.

Mark your calendarImportant dates for 2008-09 school year:Aug. 4 – First day of schoolSept. 1 – Labor Day holidayOct. 6-10 – Intercession breakNov. 26-28 – Thanksgiving breakDec. 19 – 60 percent dayDec. 22-Jan. 8 – Winter breakJan. 19 – Martin Luther King Jr. holidayMar. 16-20 – Intercession breakApril 10-17 – Easter and spring holidayMay 29 – 60 percent day and last day of school

“It’s been special because it’s the third year of community schools, and we’re beginning to get a greater sense of all of us together,” he said, citing such examples as a very successful spring carnival and Warrenton’s first sixth-grade graduation. The community approach assigns students to schools closest to their homes and followed years of a choice-based program in which different elementaries had different themes.

Rising sixth-grader Jeremiah Horton enjoyed his fifth-grade class with teacher Courtney Wells-Doss.

“The biggest thing I learned was algebra, and that was exciting because I didn’t think I would learn algebra until seventh or eighth grade.”

Jeremiah, 11, the son of Walter Gaskew and Sharon Lamontte, plans on maybe going to Houston this summer with an aunt where he can “meet a lot of friends” and show off his art.

He describes himself as “part artist,” and his art includes flowers and cartoon dogs.

Described as “fast friends” by their teacher Dianne Wilder, first-graders Anna Claire Buchanan, 7, and Nancy Xu, 7, are, like Jeremiah, eager to travel this summer.

“I need to get some China things because we’re going to China,” said Nancy, who moved to Vicksburg from China last July. She is the daughter of Jun Xu and Kejing Yan.

Anna Claire, the daughter of Missy and Clint Buchanan, isn’t sure exactly where she is going, but she knows she’ll be going somewhere.

“We’re going out of town,” she confided about her family’s plans.

As eager as they both are to travel, they said they’ll miss both of their teachers, Wilder and Pam Jennings, and their favorite subjects in school.

“I would have to say reading is my favorite subject. I’ll read myself to sleep in the car,” she said, reconciling her summer travel plans with her school life.

Of all the things to look forward to next year as second graders, Nancy will look forward to her music elective most of all.

“We get to go to music. I like to sing from the book,” Nancy said.

“She’s taught us Chinese songs,” Wilder said of Nancy’s love of music. “She’s taught us just as much as I think she’s learned.”

As for Hume, he has another reason to look forward to the summer.

“My wife and I are going to Italy,” he said. This will be his first trip.

After all the students’ and teachers’ travels are over for the summer, school will begin again. The 2008-09 school year for the district’s 13 schools will begin on Aug. 4. August will also bring the reopening of Bovina Elementary to students. The school off Interstate 20 has been closed for eight years.

The 2008-09 will mark the shift to the district’s “intercession model,” in which students will attend school for nine weeks, then have one week off from school.

Both Porters Chapel Academy and Vicksburg Catholic School will resume class on Aug. 7.