The 2019-20 school year starts Thursday for Frederick County Public Schools.

An enrollment of nearly 14,000 students is anticipated, according to a school division news release.

Student enrollment as of July 31 was 13,795.

“Our continued growth will likely create some challenges again this year in terms of pupil-teacher ratios and overcrowding at a number of schools, particularly our three high schools,” FCPS Superintendent David Sovine said in a news release. “However, we are committed to working to overcome these challenges and further develop our school division into an innovative community where caring relationships and authentic learning inspire all students.”

Drivers are reminded to use caution in the mornings and afternoons when students are being transported to and from school. State law requires motorists to stop for a school bus when its lights are flashing unless there is a physical barrier or unpaved area between the lane in which the bus is traveling and the lane in which the vehicle is traveling.

In addition to three high schools, FCPS has four middle schools, 11 elementary schools and two instructional centers. The school day at the elementary level is from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. At the middle school level, the school day begins at 7:55 a.m. and continues until 2:45 p.m. The school day at the high school level begins at 7:55 a.m. and concludes at 2:30 p.m.

As the new school year gets underway, students, parents and staff are encouraged to be vigilant regarding school safety and to immediately report any concerns or suspicious situations to school officials or law enforcement.

“We enjoy an outstanding relationship with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Millholland,” Sovine said in the release. “Together, we have made many safety and security improvements in recent years. Some of those improvements have been shared publicly while others have not, which is a security measure in itself.”

All FCPS schools have buzz-in entry systems, and all visitors must present a valid, government-issued ID that’s scanned into the Raptor Visitor Management System and checked against registered sex offender and other databases that may include custody orders and information on individuals prohibited from visiting school grounds. The COPsync911 threat alert service is also utilized to inform first responders when an emergency situation arises at a school. Once activated, COPsync911 notifies the 911 dispatch center and the closest law enforcement officers simultaneously, which helps to increase response times. A school resource officer (SRO) is assigned at each of the county’s middle and high schools, and SROs are in the process of being placed at each of the elementary schools.

Parents who have back-to-school questions should contact their child’s school.

Following is additional information regarding school registration and cafeteria prices:

All children who will be 5 years of age on or before September 30, 2019, must be registered for kindergarten.

Parents wishing to delay their child’s attendance for one year must submit a written request to the superintendent. Registration requires a proof of residency, a certified copy of the student’s birth record and a certificate of physical examination from a physician or a health department.

Immunizations

State law requires children to be immunized and have received a comprehensive physical examination before entering public school kindergarten or elementary school. Parents need to provide documentation for immunizations such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B and chickenpox. A health and certification of immunization forum can be accessed at: doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/school_entrance_form/school_entrance_form.pdf.

Registration

Elementary, middle and high school registrations are completed at the School Board Office by appointment only, located at 1415 Amherst St. in Winchester. All new students to Frederick County Public Schools must call Central Registrar Carrie Vivas at 540-662-3889 ext. 88147 to schedule an appointment to register.

For more information on registration requirements, visit: frederick.k12.va.us/parents___students/enrolling_students.

Lunch and breakfast

For elementary school students, the cost of student meals is $2.60 for lunch and $1.40 for breakfast. The reduced cost is 40 cents for lunch and 30 cents for breakfast.

For middle and high school students, the student lunch is regularly $2.85 and the student breakfast is regularly $1.40, while the reduced lunch is 40 cents and the reduced breakfast is 30 cents.

Children from households that meet Federal Income Guidelines are eligible for either reduced-price or free meals.

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