Hitting the ground running

It was back-to-school for Laguna Beach Unified School District students this week, and things seemed to get off to a good start.

Enrollment was up in the District overall, Assistant Supt. of Instructional Services Nancy Hubbell said, where the elementary and middle schools welcomed 87 more students over the first day last year.

The most noteworthy grade level increases were in kindergarten, with El Morro up by 24 students and TOW with 28 new kindergartners.

"We had a great time getting to know the new kids and showing them around," TOW principal Ron LaMotte said. "The first day went extremely well, and instruction was underway at 8 a.m."

Thurston Middle principal Joanne Culverhouse said that despite the new additions to the student body, everything ran according to plan.

"All of the kids had their schedules and classes started right on time. It was a great start to the school year," she said.

Laguna Beach High students were off to the smoothest start Principal Don Austin said he's seen in the past four years, which he attributes to the school's newly adopted registration program, which allowed kids to work with teachers and staff over the summer to set up their schedules.

"On the first day, we had a minimal number of schedule changes, which helped everything to run more smoothly. When I walked into the classrooms, math teachers were already doing problems with the kids. We really hit the ground running and it was a great way to start off the year academically," he said.

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