Summer ends as classes resume for 7,300 students
(Sept. 1, 2022) Nobody ever wants to be the bearer of bad news, so, kids, if you’re reading, it’s time to look away. Parents on the other hand, get ready for next week because you’re about to get that time back into your lives.
A total of 6,851 students will be returning to Worcester County’s 14 public schools on Tuesday, Sept. 6, which will mark the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.
Lou Taylor, the superintendent of Worcester County Public Schools, met with all the district teachers at the Performing Arts Center in the convention center on 40th Street in Ocean City on Tuesday morning, where the district held its annual teacher kick-off party.
During his talk, Taylor gave the faculty encouraging words to get through the school year while also boasting about the district’s strong reputation in the state when it comes to academics.
“We work in the greatest school district in the country,” he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of students expected to fill the halls this year is up by 62 over the 6,789 students who attended county schools last year.
The school year consists of 180 days of classroom time for students and teachers are expected to work 188 days.
The additional eight days teachers must work include professional workdays, which require them to report for a full-day’s pay.
For students, the professional workdays are time off.
The last day of school is tentatively scheduled for June 13, but that could change if the district uses up any of the three days set aside for inclement weather. On the school calendar, the make-up days are slated for June 14-16.
“I have seen first-hand the investment that this community makes into our young people,” Taylor said. “I, myself, am a product of that support, so I feel humbled and so fortunate that our community continues to put that trust in me and our leaders, teachers, and staff each year.”
Students who attend Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin began their return to classes on Monday, Aug. 29.
The private school currently has more than 485 students enrolled for the 2022-23 school year, with several grades running wait lists.
According to administrators at the school, enrollment grew by over 90 students between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.
“We feel very positive about the growth we have had over the past several years,” Head of School Dr. John McDonald said. “We are reaching capacity and families are still reaching out with interest.”
Like the public schools, Worcester Prep has a roughly 9-month school year.
Students in the upper school began classes on Tuesday, the middle school began on Wednesday, and the lower school began on Thursday.
Worcester Prep’s graduation is scheduled to take place on May 27, though students in the Lower School and Middle-Upper schools will step out of the school for summer on Jun 9 and June 13, respectively.
McDonald offered advice to students entering the school for the first time, saying they will need to hit the ground running to prevent falling behind.
“They should take advantage of the resources we have to support them and not be afraid to ask for help,” he said. “Seniors should work closely with our college counselor to meet application deadlines for colleges and scholarships as they prepare for the final year here at Worcester Prep.”
Along with getting encouraging words from Taylor during Tuesday’s pep rally, the keynote speaker of the morning was Kim Strobel, a motivational speaker who spoke about being happy and changing the mindset when working in a classroom.
According to Strobel, the human brain is 31 percent more productive when it experiences happiness over negativity. The brain is also three times more creative, she added.
When she was finished talking, Strobel invited all the teachers in the center to stand or join her on stage for a dance party that included songs liked Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Naughty By Nature’s, “O.P.P.,” and Def Leopard’s, “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
“It’s happiness that creates success,” Strobel said after lifting the spirts of many staff members as they head into the school year.