Sweetwater City Schools Director Rodney Boruff said the first week of school got off to a great start, when he discussed the new academic year with the Sweetwater Board of Education on Monday night.

“I felt like it went, really, really, really well,” Boruff said in particular of the first day of school on Aug. 7.

Boruff said teachers were excited to be back and were very welcoming to the students. He also praised the schools for their well-organized open houses right before school started. Boruff said the maintenance and custodial staff had the school buildings and grounds looking great for the new school year.

Boruff also noted that enrollment for the first few days and had gone up over the end of last year. Boruff said the school system finished the 2018-19 school year in May with 1,430 students (not counting preschool). Lower enrollment can affect state funding for schools but the good news for the Sweetwater City School System is that enrollment is up to 1,487 students so far, not counting another 60 or so preschool students.

Since the first day of school, 57 new students have enrolled in the city school system.

In his report on Sweetwater Primary School (SPS), Principal Darrin Nichols also noted a flux of new students enrolling after the first day of school. Nichols’ report covered the school year that ended in May, which he said was a little strange for him, since he and his staff are so focused on the new year just underway.

Nichols cited many successes. He said at the first of last year, 31 of the school’s 158 kindergarten students needed intense academic intervention but by the end of the year, only seven of those students needed that same intervention.

Nichols said like all schools, SPS battled and will likely continue to battle what the state calls “chronic absenteeism” due to the state’s strict definition of absenteeism.

All city schools continue to have a high transient student body with a large number of students moving in and out of the school system multiple times.

The 6u World Series team, many of who are kindergarten and first-grade students at SPS, led the Pledge of Allegiance to open Monday’s School Board meeting.

Next month’s School Board meeting has been moved to Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 6 p.m.

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