Greencastle-Antrim School District offers information prior to Aug. 24 start of year

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Across the campus of the Greencastle-Antrim School District building administrators, staff members and teachers have been busily preparing for the 2015-16 school year. Rooms have been cleaned and floors polished. Technology upgrades are in progress and staff training has been ongoing. In general everything is being readied for the students to return to school. All Greencastle-Antrim schools will begin on Monday Aug. 24. To ensure a smooth start for the staff and students, the school district wishes to pass along information of interest to parents, students and the general public.

The district transportation department mailed out postcards to each family containing the bus route and pick up/drop off times and bus stop information for each student. For the first week, parents and students should expect delays in pick up and drop off times—as much as 30 minutes—due to students and bus drivers learning new routes and stops. Students should plan to arrive early to the bus stop and wait patiently as everyone adjusts to the new routine.

School supply lists for the primary, elementary and middle school students have been posted on the district website at www.gcasd.org. Parents will find the appropriate supply list on each school’s webpage. High school students should come to school with the basic supplies such as pens, pencils and notebook paper. Their individual teachers will let them know of any specific supplies they will need for each of their classes.

Lunch prices for the coming school year are as follows: primary and elementary school students, $2.20; middle and high school students, $2.50. Milk and reduced lunch prices remain at 40 cents each for all age groups. A new charge policy has been adopted. Primary and elementary students shall be permitted to charge up to five meals, and middle and high school students shall be permitted to charge up to three meals. Once the student has reached his or her charge limit, the student shall be offered a cheese sandwich, fruit and skim milk until such time the charges are paid. The purchase of a la carte items is only permitted if a student does not have a negative account balance. Because of the new charge policy for lunches, milk is considered an a la carte item, and students will not be permitted to charge for this item. Lunch menus and student lunch account information may be viewed at www.parentonline.net or accessed through the district website at www.gcasd.org. Parents are encouraged to submit Free/Reduced Lunch Applications online at  https://www.paschoolmeals.com/register.aspx. Households without access to a computer should contact the district food service office at 717-597-3226, ext. 50505, for further instructions.

Below are highlights of building-specific back-to-school information of importance to parents and students:

Greencastle-Antrim

Primary School

Back-to-School Open House: The faculty and staff of the primary school invite all primary students and their families to attend an open house on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Students and their families should report to the primary school lobby as follows: Second-Grade—5:30-6 p.m.; First-Grade—6:15-6:45 p.m.; Kindergarten—7-8 p.m.

Kindergarten Students: While the majority of students at all four of the district schools will return to class bright and early the morning of Monday, Aug. 24, kindergarten students at the primary building will experience a staggered start to their school careers. For the first week of school, kindergarten boys will attend only Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Kindergarten girls will attend only on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

School Hours: The school day for primary students begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Parents who transport their children to school should not drop students off prior to 8:15, and they must sign their child out by 2:55 p.m. each afternoon.

Greencastle-Antrim

Elementary School

Back-to-School Open House: The faculty and staff of the elementary school invite all elementary students and their families to attend an open house on Thursday, Aug. 20. Students and their families should report to the student’s classroom as follows: Third-Grade—5:15-6 p.m.; Fifth-Grade—6:15-7 p.m.; Fourth-Grade—7:15-8 p.m.

School Hours: The school day for primary students begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Parents who transport their children to school should not drop students off prior to 8:15, and they must sign their child out by 2:55 p.m. each afternoon.

Greencastle-Antrim

 Middle School

Back-to-School Open House: The faculty and staff of the middle school invite all middle school students and their families to attend an open house on Monday, Aug. 17. Students and their families should report to the students’ homerooms at 6 p.m. Families will then follow an abbreviated daily schedule until 7:45 p.m. An optional informational session begins at 5:30 p.m. in the G-AHS auditorium. This session will be of particular interest to the incoming sixth-graders and to students who have transferred to G-AMS from another school district. Families may also take advantage of our open teacher visitation time which is set for 7:45-8:30 p.m.

School Hours: The hours for middle school students will be 7:30 a.m. – 2:22 p.m. Doors will open at 7:05 a.m., and students may enter and wait in the cafeteria until 7:20 a.m. when the students are released into the building. For parents who will be driving their students to school, please ensure their safety by dropping them off behind the middle school or on the school-side of Ridge Avenue. Bus students are dismissed at 2:24 p.m.; walkers’ dismissal is via the public address (P.A.) system. Students being picked up at school by parents will be dismissed via the P.A. system after bus traffic has exited the bus lane.

Greencastle-Antrim

High School

High School Orientation Sessions: Ninth grade/new student orientation will be held on Tuesday, August 18 as follows:

Ninth-grade and new students pick up schedules in the high school cafeteria from 5:30-6 p.m.; Ninth-grade and new student orientation in the high school auditorium from 6-6:30 p.m.; students follow schedules and meet teachers from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Returning student orientation will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 19 as follows:

Returning students pick up schedules in the high school cafeteria from 1:30 - 1:45 p.m.; returning student orientation in the HS Auditorium from 1:45 - 2 p.m.; students meet teachers from 2 - 3 p.m.

Building Renovations: The high school has been a busy place this summer as work crews have been making improvements to the schools heating and air conditioning system, upgrading security systems, painting the hallways and various other improvements.

Student Parking: Student parking fees at the high school will be $25. Parking spaces in the back parking lot are numbered, and students will purchase a parking pass with the corresponding number for their assigned space. This process will take place within the first two weeks of the new school year. Students will receive more information once they are back at school.

College Adviser: Through the continued partnership with Franklin and Marshall and The National College Advising Corps, G-AHS looks forward to welcoming Tim Smith to G-AHS as the new College Adviser.  Smith will work with students and their families to provide one-on-one college and financial aid advising. In its fifth year, this program has already proven to be of great benefit to G-AHS students and their families. Parents and students are encouraged to take advantage of this excellent resource.

School Hours: The hours for high school students will be 7:30 a.m. – 2:27 p.m.

As summer quickly winds down, the staff and faculty of the Greencastle-Antrim School District look forward to the coming school year and remind local residents to slow down as they travel through area roads, and look out for students and school buses. The district wishes a safe, successful school year to all of its students and staff members.