Philipsburg-Osceola is first in class.
That’s not a subjective thing. It’s literal. The Mounties were the first public school students in Centre County to head back to class Wednesday.
While other kids were wringing the fun out of the last days of summer or shopping for backpacks, lunchboxes and just the right folders, Krista Dixon’s first-grade class at Philipsburg Elementary School was settling down for some reading and writing.
Principal Jeff Baker said students at both Philipsburg and Osceola Mills elementary schools will be utilizing a new social studies curriculum in 2017-18. The move completes an across-the-board makeover of various programs after reboots of the math, language arts and science curricula in recent years.
Another feature at Philipsburg Elementary in the new school year will be several new faces.
“We are starting a school-based behavioral health program with Beacon Light,” Baker said.
The program will address both mental health and behavioral health issues with the help of three in-house staff members at the school every day.
Across town on Wednesday, the students at Philipsburg-Osceola Middle School were buckling in for a celebration called Great First Day, a way to welcome kids back and get them excited about the coming year.
The next school district to welcome students back to the classroom is Tyrone, which serves some southern Centre County students. Those kids go back to school Thursday.
The majority will go back Monday, when Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Keystone Central, Penns Valley and State College school districts all get back in gear. Centre Learning Community, Nittany Valley and Young Scholars charter school go back at the same time. Wonderland Charter School students will be the last public students to return to school, on Sept. 5.
Parochial students started on Tuesday with St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s return. Kids at Centre County Christian Academy and Our Lady of Victory Catholic School start back Monday, while State College Friends School returns Aug. 30. Grace Prep’s first day of school is Sept. 5.