Events mark beginning of a school year

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As the calendar approaches Aug. 10, the first day of school for students, several back-to-school events are scheduled to help students and families start the 2011-12 academic year smoothly.

 One of the most anticipated events is a community open house of Richard B. Cartmell Elemen-tary School Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The 48 year-old building has been undergoing renovation and construction since January 2010.  A new gymnasium and administrative office suite have been added, while the library-media center has been expanded, science rooms added, and the existing structure completely renovated. The entire facility is heated and cooled with a geo-thermal system.

 “It’s a brand new building,” Superintendent Lisa James said. “It’s absolutely beautiful, a state-of-the-art facility, which will just enhance all of the wonderful learning activities that are going on at the school.”

James said that Cartmell students will be on hand as greeters and tour guides and that the original 1963 time capsule that was removed from inside the walls during renovation will be on display just inside the school’s new entrance, which now faces Fisher Avenue. Some of the new features to be revealed at the open house include the gymnasium, music room and stage, science labs, and administrative suite.

“Carroll County Schools would like to invite the whole community to come out and view the newly-renovated Cartmell Elementary School,” James said. “We can’t wait to share it.”

Food will be served from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in an event tent set up outside the Carroll County Schools Conditioning Center, located across Fisher Avenue from Cartmell. The public can ask questions of school administrators and receive information about the Vision 2021 awareness campaign. Vision 2021 focuses on educating the public about the 2009 Senate Bill, which requires that students graduate from high school ready for college, career and citizenship. Schools will be held accountable for Senate Bill 1 beginning this year.

At the same time as the Cartmell Open House and Carroll County Schools on the Road Event, Carroll County High School juniors and seniors will be able to pick up their new Apple MacBook through the school’s new One-to-One computer loan program.  Seniors can pick up their Apple laptop from 9-11 a.m., and  juniors can get theirs from 1-3 p.m.  Students need to bring their parent or guardian and a $75 insurance fee, according to Principal John Leeper.  Students and parents will receive basic information on Internet safety, acceptable use policies, and finances regarding the computer loan program.

For those who cannot make the July 30 events, students and parents will get another chance to see the newly renovated Cartmell building at the annual Ready Fair Aug. 4, from 4-6 p.m. The event will be held at Cartmell this  year.

“We’re getting ready for a big year,” James said. “I’m ready to go.”


Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.