Education

Are you ready? Classes start for many Texas students.

It’s the first day of school at Mansfield, students walk in with cheer

The cheerleaders practiced all summer to welcome students into school on the first day of school at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield.
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The cheerleaders practiced all summer to welcome students into school on the first day of school at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield.

As some families buy school supplies and teachers decorate classrooms, many Texas students have already started the 2019-2020 academic year, including those in Keller, Kennedale, Lake Worth and Mansfield.

Kennedale students began classes on Monday. Students in Keller, Lake Worth and Mansfield began classes on Wednesday morning. These Tarrant-area districts are among the first public school systems to begin classes.

At Mansfield’s Danny Jones Middle School, cheerleaders welcomed students as they entered the school. Mansfield High School students take part in an annual clap-in for the students by community and business leaders.

At Erma Nash Elementary School, students walked into class amid positive sayings written and drawn around the entryway. Parents and school staff worked on the sayings Tuesday evening.

Kia McAdams-Johnson, formerly the school’s assistant principal, said the goal is to encourage the campus’ “Tiny Tigers” with positive messages they can read on the first day of school.

Artwork and quotes are on the back of the school, all along the sidewalk, as well as the sidewalk going into the gym doors. Erma Nash Elementary School serves students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.

“For me, it’s all about strengthening our relationships and really making a positive impact in the lives of our students this year and in the years to come,” said McAdams-Johnson. “When our students come in, I want them to know that they are special, they are loved, and they belong. Hopefully these colorful words of encouragement will brighten up these children’s day and empower them to have the best day ever.”

Also in Mansfield, four schools are now academies: Louise Cabaniss Academy of Young Scholars, Willie Brown Academy of Young Scholars, Elizabeth Smith Innovative Learning Academy and Donna Shepard Leadership Academy.

New school year

There are more than 5 million public school students in Texas, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Area school districts have been reminding families to get ready for a new school year.

The Fort Worth school district launched back-to-school TV commercials in English and Spanish. The theme of the commercials is, “Rise and Shine on 8-1-9!” The district wants to make sure students are in school on Monday, August 19, the first day of school.

In Burleson schools, Superintendent Bret Jimerson, school board trustees, and principals kicked off the 2019-2020 school year with a parody of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Classes in Burleson also start on Monday.

Some districts announced new schools as classes were set to begin.

In Northwest schools, the district offered media tours of its 19th elementary school, Lance Thompson Elementary. The school is in Northlake in the Harvest neighborhood off of FM 407.

The school features a two-story learning space, collaboration spaces, learning commons and a library with a built-in “Markerspace.”

Northwest is one of the largest districts in the state. It covers 234 square miles and includes three counties — Tarrant, Denton and Wise. The district, one of the fastest growing in the region, has more than 25,200. Classes begin at Northwest schools on Tuesday.

In Crowley schools, the district will open the first campus on the west side of the Chisholm Trail Parkway. The June W. Davis Elementary is at 6301 at Rockrose Trail in Fort Worth. It serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Davis Elementary is the first school to open in Crowley schools since 2010.

Crowley students begin classes on Thursday. The district is holding a “Red Carpet Welcome” for students at its 24 campuses, including Davis.

“This back-to-school event will help set the stage for the great things our students and staff will accomplish this school year,” said Michael McFarland, superintendent of Crowley schools, in a press release.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Diane Smith, a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 1997. Smith, who has covered municipal government, immigration and education, has won multiple awards for reporting, most recently as part of a Star-Telegram team recognized by the Headliners Foundation of Texas for coverage of child abuse and Fort Worth’s Las Vegas Trail area.
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