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Hallways bulge with students as new year begins

An inspirational banner greeted students their first day at Warrenton Grade School. (Cindy Yingst)
Friday, September 14, 2018

When students returned to school this week, they found a freshly painted grade school, revised athletic programs and a larger class of peers.

Districtwide, 1,046 students are on the rolls in the Warrenton-Hammond School District, and increase of 41 kids.

The biggest jump was at the high school, which had 278 students on the books this week.

Add a healthy number of kindergartners – 83 to 85 – next week and Warrenton Grade School is a busy place. The campus serves kindergarten through eighth grade and has a preschool program as well.

“There are pinch points,” Superintendent Mark Jeffery said. “We run it as well as we can. We have them flow into and out of the cafeteria in a way that makes it seem like it isn’t as crowded as it is.”

Eighty-three percent of the kids participate in Warrenton Grade School’s breakfast program, which is offered free to all students, and 54 percent in the free and reduced lunch program.

That’s 580 breakfasts and 380 lunches every day and, with staggered meal periods, a break of only 45 minutes between the last breakfast service and the first lunch service.

Volunteers from the Coast Guard painted the grade school during the summer.

“We are changing the blue to purple to match the ‘new’ school colors,” Jeffery said. “Our head custodian also painted and repaneled the WGS cafeteria.”

Before the decision to back away from American Indian-themed logos and names, WGS students were the Braves. Students districtwide are now Warriors. A new gender-friendly Warrior banner greeted kids upon their return.

Those with physical limitations found a new wheelchair- and walker- accessible swing set, which includes a raised pathway, rails and a landing.

At the high school, the football team was recategorized into the 2A league and some of the other teams, still in the 3A league, will find they’re playing different schools.

Those involved in sports will also have a new code of conduct, developed during the summer.

A new disabled-friendly swing was installed at Warrenton Grade School. (Debbie Morrow)

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