Our school year is well under way, and as we review our student numbers so far we have observed decreases at the elementary and middle school buildings and a significant increase at the high school building. The elementary is down 30 students, going from 813 to 783. The middle school is down 13 students, going from 437-424. The high school is up 46 students, going from 498 to 544. Overall, we are down 20 students from last year at this time, going from 1,771 to 1,751 PK-12. These numbers are very important for us to review each year as we prepare for future planning in the areas of human resources and finance.
I’m often asked how one can get involved to support kids. We are at around 57% 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.
This upcoming weekend, the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the annual Grape and Fall Festival. This group of business leaders work relentlessly to provide a multitude of activities for the children and patrons in our community. I am grateful for their efforts to bring a carnival, a derby, a Monster Truck Rally, a queen pageant, kid games, concerts, and many other fun activities to St. James. There will also be a dunk booth near the cook shack Friday and Saturday afternoons. Friday’s dunk lineup schedule is Chief Jones (2:00), myself (2:30), Dan Copeland (3:00), SRO Riggs (3:30), Carl Behr (4:00), Becky Sandusky (4:30), Sarah Watson (5:00), Mike Menendez (5:30), Tim Seams (6:00), RV Ellis (6:30), and Clifton Parker (7:00). Saturday’s dunk lineup schedule is Jon Rapp (2:00), Zane Garr (2:30), Kevin Conway (3:00), Rick Krawiecki (3:30), mystery person (4:00), Josh Rodriguez (4:30), Tim Wilson (5:00), mystery person (5:30), Joe Stammers (6:00), and more mystery people 6:30 and 7:00. I look forward to all of the activities organized by the Chamber this year. If you would like to learn more about the Grape and Fall Festival events, you can find this information on their website at: stjameschamber.net/event/grape-and-fall-festival-2/
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!