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Secondary schools back in class

Teri Vance

Alex Angelo, 11, was nervous about leaving elementary school behind and starting middle school Tuesday.

“It was new from elementary school and there would be a lot of new kids,” he said. “It turned out good. The teachers are really nice.”

Alex was among 1,152 students who showed up for the first day of school at Carson Middle School. At Eagle Valley Middle School, 857 students came. Pioneer High School reported 87 students in attendance and 24 showed up for the first day at Opportunity High School.

Carson High School has 2,585 students registered but did not conduct a first-day count.

“The day went fine,” said district Superintendent Mary Pierczynski. “We didn’t have any problems.”

At the end of last year, there were 1,153 students at Carson Middle School, 826 at Eagle Valley Middle School and 2,323 at Carson High School.

Ferd Mariani, principal of Eagle Valley Middle School, said there were more students than he had anticipated but does not foresee any complications.

“We’re making accommodations to handle them all,” Mariani said. “They were all very good today. I was proud of them. We’re looking forward to a great year.”

With the first day also came a bit of confusion.

“It’s kind of hard because some kids’ schedules are getting mixed up,” said sixth-grader Tahni Holmes. “It’s kind of frustrating – the teachers get sort of mad and the kids get confused.”

But Carson Middle School Principal Tom Badillo said it is to be expected.

“First days are always a little chaotic and hectic,” he said. “Especially with the sixth-graders. Once they figure things out, they get better.”

Donivan Dean, 12, started the seventh grade. His experience in the middle school eased any fear he would have had.

“I wasn’t nervous. I was excited,” he said. “I just wanted to come back and see all my friends.”

This year’s official count day will be Sept. 21. The school district will receive $4,435 for each student in class, up from the $4,380 received per pupil last year.