Marysville school district officials have been busy preparing for students' return Monday, Aug. 17.

Marysville school district officials have been busy preparing for students' return Monday, Aug. 17.

"In education, August is a busy month for enrollment. Our numbers are changing daily due to students to or from Marysville," Assistant Superintendent Jonathan Langhals said.

"At this point, enrollment seems to be comparable with previous years, but we'll know more once the dust settles after the first few days of school."

Students will start to return to class Aug. 17; staggered start begins that day for students in grades 1-8 whose last names start with A through G and all ninth-graders.

The next day, Tuesday, Aug. 18, students in grades 1-8 whose last names begin with H through O will start, along with sophomores, juniors and seniors. The rest of grades 1-8 will report to school Wednesday, Aug. 19. Kindergarten students start Thursday, Aug. 20.

The addition of a new class of freshmen at Marysville Early College High School will bolster the building's enrollment to about 300 students. District officials are excited for students to see the Health Care Pathways section, which is currently being renovated, Langhals said.

New course offerings will be available this year, including classes offered to adults through a partnership with Otterbein University. The district also announced new courses this fall through Columbus State Community College.

"These courses will be aligned to the advanced manufacturing field and will be open for anyone in the community or surrounding community interested in this area of employment," Langhals said.

Joanne Morbitzer, food service director, said the kitchens are in full swing preparing for the return of hungry students. Applications for free and reduced-price lunches are posted online and in each building, along with August menus.

She said the district will once again participate in a dietary study with students from Wright State University. College students will visit Bunsold Middle School and Marysville High School to assess food waste.

"We will then develop strategies for improving fruit and vegetable consumption through some marketing and recipe enhancements," Morbitzer said.

Langhals said the district has introduced a ride-share program for K-12 families, allowing parents to organize carpools through a page on the district's website at marysville.k12.oh.us/rideshare.aspx.

Parents can submit their information into a "data warehouse," which other families can use to orchestrate rides to and from school.

The district also unveiled a new shuttle bus program for students who travel between Marysville High School and Early College High School. The program is an effort to decrease pedestrian traffic along Amrine Mill Road, according to school officials.

Students can board the shuttles at 7:20 a.m. for Bus 32 from MHS to ECHS, and Buses 36, 5 and 42 from ECHS to MHS. At 2:25 p.m. buses 36, 5 and 42 will depart from ECHS to MHS, and at 2:45 p.m. Buses 24, 14 and 42 will take students from MHS to ECHS.

Langhals said the district also has made some changes to the school calendar this year. The changes were based on feedback from parents and will guide steps taken during bad weather.

"Hopefully, Mother Nature cooperates with us this year, and we do not need to utilize much of the calamity makeup plan, but it will look different compared to previous years," he said.

The first calamity day will result in an automatic makeup day Feb. 12, followed by another makeup day March 11 if a second calamity day takes place. Thereafter, a series of calamity days and "blizzard bag" days are on the calendar and will be used as needed to meet the minimum instructional hours for students.

Two additional student days have been added to the calendar that were previously scheduled as professional development days. The professional development will still occur, but with a two-hour delay to still allow class, Langhals said.

"In the end, students will be in school more often than previous years, based on the calendar, and professional development needs will be met at the same time," he said.

The statewide elimination of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, testing that was held last school year also will result in more instructional time for students, he said.

"Teachers and students will notice a big difference in regards to the amount of instructional time, which will be protected due to only one testing window in April/May pertaining to the next generation of assessments based on the Ohio Learning Standards," Langhals said.