BLOOMINGDALE - Jefferson County Joint Vocational School is beginning a new year with its first Back-to-School Kickoff.
Incoming juniors and seniors and their parents are invited to the JVS on Aug. 25. The facility, along county Road 22A, will be open to juniors and students new to the building from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and for returning seniors from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Organizers said it is the first year for the free event, which will serve as an opportunity for the students to familiarize themselves with the school.
Students and their parents will have the opportunity to meet their new instructors and classmates, return previously mailed forms, pick up schedules and locate their lockers and classrooms. Refreshments will be available in the cafeteria, and students will receive JVS T-shirts and cinch sacks containing school supplies. One junior could win an Xbox One console, while a junior parent could win a Vizio 48-inch TV; a senior could win a Surface tablet and a senior parent could win a $100 gas card.
Superintendent Todd Phillipson noted that Sis Abdalla, JVS supervisor and assistant principal, and Karen Spoonemore, treasurer, have been working to coordinate the event following staff discussion in the spring.
"This is an opportunity for students and parents to feel comfortable about the school and the great staff that will serve them this school year," Phillipson said.
"Our goal is to get the parents to come here with the kids. We want to get all of the students' paperwork in. We also want to have the parents more involved along with the students," said Spoonemore. "This is like their freshman year. They meet people and become one here, and every lab instructor will be at a table. The students and parents meet their instructors and go to the labs for a presentation."
"They are free to follow their schedules," said Abdalla, noting that the concept allows them to become acclimated with their new environment. For now, the focus is to get the pupils ready for their first day of school. "We are sending postcards and other reminders."
"We've always wanted to do this, and with the levy passing we want to do more things for the kids," Spoonemore commented. "This is a brand new school to them with new people. The more the juniors get an opportunity to feel comfortable, the better off they will be."
About 424 students are enrolled in one of the JVS's 15 programs, including auto body, auto services, cosmetology, early childhood education, culinary arts, criminal justice, interactive technology, carpentry, welding, health technologies, electrical trades, power mechanics, computer networking, multimedia and design and transition to work. The school serves students from area school districts including Buckeye Local, Toronto City Schools, Harrison Hills, Steubenville City Schools, Indian Creek, Catholic Central, Edison Local, the Jefferson County Christian Academy and homeschools.
"One of the big things we're also emphasizing is our kids come from associate schools," added Abdalla. "They will be grouped in the cafeteria according to their programs and can eat and meet with other classmates. Our goal is to prepare the work force."
For information about the event, contact the JVS at (740) 264-5545.