Our school year is well under way, and we continue to grow and thrive. We were up by 18 students to 1,771 Pk-12 students at the beginning of the school year. The largest growth was in the middle school grades, where our 8th grade has increased to 143 students!
I’m often asked how one can get involved to support kids. We are at around 59% of our students receiving reduced or free lunches due to poverty. We have around 15% of our students who have an Individualized Education Plan through Special Education. All of the above statistics increase when we include the students at Great Circle. Even with these high percentages, we continue to thrive in part because of great community partnerships. We have always had great relationships with our volunteers and community organizations. We have Kiwanis members who partner with St. James Schools to provide a mentoring service to students as well as provide an ongoing service learning opportunity with our counselors through the KKids program. In addition to offering their annual boys basketball, girls volleyball, and jump rope initiative, they join the school by volunteering their service to regularly support school programs that may need extra hands. Our educational community is truly blessed by the service of our local Kiwanis club.
Our PTO program welcomes volunteers into their group to help students in creative ways. We have organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the Lions Club who are always looking for ways to help. We have an active group of ministers in the community who have partnered together to support many of our student needs through their youth ministry programs. We also have one of the best sports support groups in the state in our St. James Sports Club. All of these organizations provide excellent resources and support for our students.
Just this past weekend, the Chamber of Commerce organized the annual Grape and Fall Festival. This group of business leaders work relentlessly to provide a multitude of activities for the children in our community. I am grateful for their efforts to bring a carnival, a derby, kid games, and many other fun activities to St. James. Due to the poor weather conditions, the derby was postponed to this Saturday, September 15. The St. James School District, through our FFA program and many of our teacher leaders, partner and very much appreciate the support of the Chamber of Commerce and all other community organizations who support our children.
For those of you involved, thank you! If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to us and we can help you help our collective future.
As Always, IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A TIGER!