HAMILTON — Hamilton Community Schools are off to a solid start as students have returned for the new school year, Superintendent Tony Cassel reported at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Due to construction surrounding HVAC work, the start of the school year was postponed by two days, with students returning to their classes Wednesday, Aug. 14.

“The air is up and running everywhere,” Cassel said Monday. “The teachers are very happy that the temperatures are regulated and consistent. The units are quiet.”

Cassel said thermostats still are being “tweaked” and finish work around the units is being completed.

Finishing touches also are being made to the school library, which will be open to the community one evening a week and one Saturday a month. Cassel said finishing touches will be completed before a date is set for a library open house.

Cassel said student enrollment is “on the upswing.” The student count on opening day was 291 — an increase of five students from last year’s start day, Cassel reported.

“Another enrolled today, and there are two that we know are coming,” Cassel added.

The elementary school hosted its “Back to School Bash” on Friday with 360 people attending, Principal Kristyn Watkins reported.

“It was wonderful and it was packed and the kids had a blast,” Watkins said.

Several new measures have been implemented at the elementary school this year, Watkins said.

A 10-minute working snack time has been added for all students each day between breakfast and lunch.

Teachers will be sending home a weekly newsletter to parents each Friday.

Two 10-minute “Marine Moments” also have been built into the school day. The first takes place after morning announcements, where teachers lead students on breathing and stretching exercises.

“It’s getting their brain mentally prepared for the day,” Watkins said.

The second “Marine Moment” takes place after lunch recess and is designed to be a “recharge power nap” where students can relax and recharge, Watkins said.

Watkins said she has received positive feedback on the new measures.

“We’re in a good place,” Cassel said. “It’s been a very good start to the year.”

Also Monday night, the board approved new breakfast and lunch prices. Breakfast prices will be $1.50 for students and $2 for adults. Lunches will cost $2.60 for students in grades K-6, $2.75 for grades 7-12 and $3.60 for adults.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignations of: high school math teacher Laura Hoard; K-12 choral and instrumental music teacher Trever Curry; nurse consultant Felisha Gaetz; high school social studies teacher Sam Sprunger; and food service director Deb Faulkner.

The board approved the appointments of: choral and instrumental music teacher Ron Richter Jr.; high school math teachers Jennifer Hart and Andrew Baker; high school English teacher Kati Richter; elementary teacher Deb Headley; food service director Aubrey Gough; high school social studies and elementary physical education teacher, head soccer coach and junior varsity boys basketball coach Justin McKnight; elementary teacher assistant Julie Buss; evening library assistant Sara Crain; math teacher substitute Minde Raney; elementary volleyball coach Nikki Fifer; and high school girls golf coach Katie Gaetz.

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