The elementary schools will be filled with students in grades kindergarten through fourth. Rivers Elementary will be the only elementary school testing a new preschool program this year. According to Principal Robbie Holder, Rivers has prepared for the addition of the 80 4-year-olds who will grace the halls of the elementary this year.
"We've prepared behind high quality teachers and personnel," Holder said. "We have ordered developmentally appropriate furniture and developmentally appropriate supplies for each preschool class," Holder said. "Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the upcoming school year."
In addition to the elementary schools, the Altus Middle School staff has also prepped for the 2005-06 school year. AMS will be a fifth- and sixth-grade establishment. Some parents like Sonia Bell are concerned about their child's venture to the new school. Bell's fifth grader will be attending AMS for the first time.
"He attended Roosevelt last year and I am a little nervous about him going to a bigger school. Other than that I am fine," Bell said. "He is excited about going."
Many teachers have been moved around to accommodate the new students. According to Public Relations Director Valerie Roberts each teacher was given the option of whether or not they wanted to move.
"Each teacher was able to choose which place they wanted to go or whether they wanted to move or not," Roberts said. "There have been a lot of teachers moved around this year."
At Altus Junior High, ninth graders were moved out and seventh graders were added, leaving the school with seventh and eighth graders. AJH parent Monica Castillo says she feels her child is being forced to grow up.
"She's scared and so am I. She's scared that she won't fit it," Castillo said. "She was hoping that she could do another year at middle school, but now she feels like she has to start over again."
Seventh graders aren't the only ones who have to start off as the underclassmen. Freshman who at one time ruled AJH, will have to start as peons at the high school level. The Altus High School will be ninth to 12th grade.
Altus High School Principal Mark Haught says that his teachers are excited about the upcoming year. The teachers were given a special new year's party to start the school year off.
Classes will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Parents and students are encouraged to attend Meet the Teacher Day from 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday.