Back To School Time for NEARK

Thursday, August 13, 2015
PES fourth grade teacher Cassie Knight prepares laminated items in the parent center Tuesday, as she readies for the start of classes on Monday. Pictured in the foreground are stacks of school supplies which were donated by individuals, businesses and church groups--awaiting the arrival of students for the coming year.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Classes will resume next week for area students, with students of Piggott, Rector and Marmaduke all set to begin the school year.


Students in the Piggott School District will return to classes Monday, Aug. 17, as the 2015-2016 school year is set to get underway. Throughout the summer months work has gone on behind the scenes at the local schools, with improvements to the district's broadband internet and the addition of a monitoring system for all HVAC systems. As usual, there are a number of new staff members at both campuses, although the majority of the core administrators remain the same as last year.

Third grade teacher Wendy Richardson decorates her classroom in a patriotic theme at Rector elementary Tuesday.(TD photo/Jessica Rainwater)

The past two weeks teachers have been getting their classrooms ready, and in the past several days a variety of training sessions have been held in preparation.

Classes are set to resume at 8 a.m. on Monday, and according to Superintendent Charlie Powell, much of the daily schedule will remain the same. Along with the bell schedule, the bus routes are expected to remain unchanged, although some adjustments may be made in the first week of classes.

At PES the doors will open at 7:30 a.m. and breakfast will be served, with classes starting promptly at 8. Students arriving after 8 a.m. must be escorted to the office, and checked-in. The first bell will be at 2:55 p.m. for car riders, with the bus rider bell ringing at 3:05 and the bell for walkers at 3:15.

"We do have the new ALE (Alternative Learning Education) program at Piggott Elementary School this year," Powell noted. The program was instituted during the summer, and is much like the successful effort which is overseen by Jon Wellman at the high school. Serving as the instructor for the ALE class at PES is longtime teacher Debbie Dunlap.

A new class is also being offered at Piggott High School for the first time this fall, as students will have the opportunity to take Fitness for Life, with Coach Shawn Hearn serving as the instructor.

Once again this year there will be eight classes each school day at PHS. First period is from 8 to 8:45 a.m., second period is 8:50 to 9:35; third period is 9:40 to 10:25; fourth period is 10:30 to 11:15; fifth period is split with lunch, and will be held from 11:20 to 12:05 and 11:55 to 12:40; sixth period is 12:45 to 1:30, seventh period is 1:35 to 2:20 and eighth period is from 2:25 to 3:10.

Visitors to Piggott High School will also note the new digital sign in front of the main building, which was purchased with grant funds and installed late last week. Monday evening PHS also hosted an open house, and on Tuesday evening the annual open house was held at Piggott Elementary School.

In preparation for the return to classes, both the third and fourth grade classes planned back-to-school pool parties. The fourth graders are invited to attend from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Piggott Public Pool. Meanwhile, next Thursday, Aug. 13, the third grade students will enjoy a pool party thanks to the generosity of a parent from 6 to 8 p.m. at the local pool.

In addition to the open house at PES on Tuesday, a clothing fair is also being held in the elementary gym. Thanks to the generosity of individuals and businesses in the area, a large selection of school supplies have also been donated and are available as needed. The items were also collected by church groups, and drop-off boxes were located at the Treasure Chest and Piggott State Bank.

Parents are reminded school supplies, and clothing items, are available for children in need by contacting Mona Scott in the PES Parent Center at 598-2546.

The district also maintains websites for each campus, with updated calendar information and news items for parents and patrons. Information is also available on the free and reduced lunch program on the websites, as well.

The PES website may be found at

And the Piggott High School website may be found online at


The 2015-16 school year is at hand with classes at Rector slated to begin Monday, Aug. 17.

Students and teachers have made preparations in recent weeks as the end of summer vacation rapidly comes to an end.

Classes will begin at 8 a.m. Monday morning for both elementary and high school. Classes will dismiss at 3 p.m. Elementary students who walk or are picked up by car will be dismissed at 2:55 p.m. and all others will be dismissed at 3 p.m.

Breakfast will be served Monday. Breakfast is $1 and lunch is $2 for students K-12. Reduced price meals are 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. Any parent who wished to eat lunch with a child is asked to send a note in advance. Parents will need to check in at the office, as well.

Here is the lunch schedule: kindergarten, 10:30; first grade, 10:50; second grade, 11; fourth grade, 11:15; fifth grade, 12:25; sixth grade, 12:30; all high school students, 11:57 to 12:23.

Parents are encouraged to read the handbook carefully as changes have been made.

The bus schedule has changed minutely. Buses will leave the elementary school at 3 p.m. Cartoon characters and symbols are located on the buses next to the bus numbers to help students identify the bus they are to ride. Bus numbers, symbols, drivers and routes covered are:

Bus 1 -- Cougar, Bill Rabjohn (morning) and Carol Hamm (evening), CR 483, CR 480, CR 484, CR 481, CR 490, Greenway, Hwy. 49, Hargrave Corner, Indian Hills Apt., Cheyenne Drive, Fourth and Inscore, Fourth and Ballard.

Bus 2 -- Dog, Gene Ellis, CR 408, CR 406 (east and west end), CR Greene, CR 505, Hwy. 49 south, Main Street and Donaldson, Phillips Avenue.

Bus 4 -- Tiger, Buddy Fahr, CR 528, CR 553, CR 528, CR 531, Hwy. 90, CR 508, Hwy. 139 Blue Cane, Leonard, Sikes and Seventh, Fifth and Hafford Street, Sonic on McNabb, Exxon station.

Bus 27--Camel, Eldon Haynes, CR 420, CR 417, CR 423, CR 440, CR 419, CR 418, CR 432, CR 429.

Bus 24--Dolphin, Tim Carroll, CR 431, CR 470, CR 440, CR 450, CR 4501, Hwy. 141, CR 272, CR 444, Boydsville, Hwy. 90, Melisa Drive.

Bus 25 -- Eagle, Lance Mabrey, CR 475, CR 472, CR 473, Hwy. 90, CR 430 east, CR 485, Donaldson and Fairview.

This year the school is welcoming several new faces, including high school librarian Cobi Hendrix, high school counselor Brittany Clark, agriculture teacher Jessica Tippitt, upper-level math teacher Stephanie Newman, elementary special education teacher Kelsey Shavalia, kindergarten teacher Brittany Hemphill, fourth grade teacher Stephanie Dement, elementary aide Shannon Hill, elementary computer lab technician Amber Green, peewee boys basketball coach Mitchell Weber and special education classroom aide Misty Stirnaman.

Administrators for the school are Nate Henderson, elementary principal; Wade Williams, high school principal, and Johnny Fowler, superintendent.


Marmaduke teachers and students have spent weeks preparing for the first day of school slated for Monday, Aug. 17.

Classes will begin at 8 a.m. Monday for both elementary and high school. Classes will be dismissed at 3 p.m. Elementary students who walk or are picked up will be dismissed at 2:55 p.m.; all others will be dismissed at 3 p.m.

Breakfast will be served Monday. Breakfast is $1 and lunch is $2 for students K-12. Reduced meal prices are 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. Any parent who wishes to eat lunch with a child must check in at the office.

The lunch schedule is set for kindergarten, 10:30; first and second grades, 10:45; third and fourth grades, 11:00; fifth and sixth grades, 11:45; junior high, 11:20 and senior high 12:05.

Parents are encouraged to read the student handbook due to changes.

Buses will leave the elementary school at 3 p.m. Cartoon characters and symbols are located on the buses next to the bus numbers to help students identify the bus they are to ride. The symbols and drivers are Nikki McDowell, horse; Rodney Hampton, deer; Kenny Vangilder, cow; Kenneth Hargrave, turtle; Lisa Hargrave, butterfly; Steve Richey, dog; Mike Cook, cat; Kyle Richey, bird, and Jim Hardin, rooster.

This year the district will be welcoming five new teachers and a school nurse. First grade teacher Kathy Ashby, physical education teacher Justin Ward, kindergarten teacher Brooke Clayton, sixth grade teacher Samuel Winn, self-contained teacher Ella Shelton and registered nurse Paula Hardin will join Marmaduke's team.

Administrators are Audra King, elementary principal; Bill Muse, high school principal; Keith Richey, assistant superintendent, and Tim Gardner, superintendent.

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