The day after Labor Day is the traditional start of school, but not all area students will be going back to class today. A number of districts are now using this first day as orientation for certain grades. School starts for all grades today in Kalama, the Wahkiakum School District, Winlock, Three Rivers Christian and at Saint Rose Catholic School. In Castle Rock, grades 1-5 start today, along with grades 6 and 9. Grades 8 and 10 through 12 will start tomorrow. Rainier and Clatskanie have grades 7 and 9 starting today, and then all other grades start tomorrow. In St. Helens, grades K through 6 start today, along with grades 7 and 9; Scappoose starts grades 1 through 6, 7 and 9 today; grades 8, 10, 11 and 12 start tomorrow. Longview has some orientation activities going on at various schools today, but all grades will actually start school tomorrow; all grades also start tomorrow in Woodland. In Kelso, grades 1 through 5 will report tomorrow, and they’ll also have “Transition Day” for 6th and 9th-graders. Grades 7, 8 and 10 through 12 will start school on Thursday. The kids up in Toutle Lake actually started school last Wednesday.
Be sure to observe the 20 mile-an-hour speed limits in school zones; the speed limit detection cameras in the Longview School District are being activated, and you can also expected increased police presence at school zones while the kids are going to and from classes. You’ll need to keep an eye out for kids and parents that are going to and from school, and be sure to stop for school buses when their red lights are flashing. Also, for the first time ever, ALL students in the Winlock School District are eligible for free lunches under a new federal program called the Community Eligibility Provision. All students in the Winlock School District will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free under the auspices of this program. Winlock is the first and only school district in Lewis County to implement this program.