The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 16, 2012

School year kicks off in Clinton

Drivers urged to exercise caution around buses

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Students bid farewell to summer today and said hello to what Clinton School District Superintendent Deb Olson hopes will be the best school year yet.

“Everybody is ready to go,” she said. “I think kids are excited to be back in school, too.”

Most students will headed back at usual start times, with the exception of Clinton High. CHS freshman and new student orientation began at 8 a.m.  All CHS students reported at 11 a.m.

This is a landmark year for CHS freshman with 50 percent of the class signed up to take an honors class.

“We’re very fortunate to offer kids a lot of opportunity,” Olson said.

Olson advises parents throughout the district to use the plethora of communication outlets to stay in touch with their students’ teachers during the year.

“Communicate early and communicate often with your teachers,” she said.

Logistics is another essential aspect of a new school year.  

Transportation Director Kenny Mohr said the department is prepared for the first day of school and will have parents informed of student pick-up times in time for the inaugural day of the 2012-2013 school year.

As usual, parents and drivers alike should be aware of the increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic synonymous with school.

“Watch for flashing lights, kids in cross walks and stopped school buses,” he said.

Parents and other drivers are also reminded of a new law that imposes increased penalties for passing a school bus with flashing lights or an extended stop sign.

Kadyn’s law, which was passed by the Iowa Legislature this year, is named for Kadyn Halverson, a 7-year-old who was struck and killed by a pickup truck last year as she walked to her bus.

Previously, a driver who passed a school bus when the red warning lights were flashing faced a $200 fine. The new provisions increased the fine to as high as $675 and 30 days in jail for a first offense. Subsequent violations could result in fines up to $1,875.

Violations of the law that cause bodily harm or injury could result in additional fines, jail time and license suspension.

Mohr said student safety is always a concern for the transportation department and they will continue to work with the Clinton Police Department to enforce safety regulations such as Kadyn’s Law