San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 24th, 2009
The backpack pack is back

Backpacking students headed back to school Monday.


Monday will be a day for wearing new school clothes, meeting new teachers, riding the buses and eating PB &J’s from shiny new lunch boxes. It also stood to be a bit confusing for parents and students alike as schedules are rearranged and multi-tasking becomes a blur.

San Marcos CISD put out a reminder in advance of school starting to remind families of school children about a few essentials.

The district reminds parents that the bell schedules are printed on the “How To Contact Us” page in the student registration packets.

The first bell rings at all six elementary campuses for grades K-5 at 7:40 a.m. Class begin at 7:45 a.m. Dismissal for elementary schools is 3 p.m. School buses depart from elementary schools at 3:10 p.m.

Middle schools and the high school have their first bell ring at 8:15 a.m. with classes starting at 8:20 a.m. Secondary schools dismiss at 3:55 p.m. School buses depart from secondary school at 4:10.

Associate Director of Transportation Ernest Martinez advises parents to have their children at their bus stop at least 7-10 minutes early for the first few days and to expect small delays in the afternoon initially while the bus drivers are learning about their assigned students and their routes.

“Be patient,” Martinez said. “We’ll soon work out any glitches and be running smoothly.”

If you have any further questions about transportation in San Marcos CISD, call (512) 393-6509.

The Pre-Kindergarten program is in a wing of Hernandez Elementary, 333 Stagecoach Trail. Half-day and full-day options are available. Half-day classes run from 7:45-10:45 a.m. or noon-3 p.m. The full day Kindergarten is from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Phoenix Learning Center, which is located in the Lamar Annex at 500 West Hutchison Street, has classes from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Rebound students meet from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Parents are once again reminded of the new state-mandated immunization requirements that primarily affect students in kindergarten and seventh grade. The district would like parents to review the shot records of their children and to contact their physician or local health clinic to insure their children are current on all vaccinations.

The new law states that all incoming seventh graders must have a Meningococcal vaccine, two doses of Varicella vaccine, and a booster of the Tdap vaccine. The inoculations protect from bacterial meningitis, chickenpox, and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (whooping cough) respectively. If parents have questions, District Nurse Dyanna Eastwood can be reached at (512) 393-6862. There is also information posted on the Back to School quick link at

Superintendent Patty Shafer said teachers and administrators are excited to have all the students returning to the campuses.

“This school year promises to be one of the best yet,” Shafer says. “For the first time in many years, all of our students will be in new or newly-renovated campuses that are safe, secure, and state-of-the art for learning. Our expectations are high, and we’re confident that our students will excel.”

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