Orion schools revving up for start

Mindy Carls
Orion High School

Orion principals reviewed back-to-school preparations at the school board meeting on Wednesday, July 21. Additional details were in the district’s August/September newsletter.

School begins Monday, Aug. 16, with the last day expected to be Wednesday, May 25. The board approved changes in the school calendar, which is now available at https://www.orionschools.us/district/calendars.

Orion High School

Seniors, juniors and sophomores will be moving into their lockers from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, and Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Freshmen will move in from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, and Aug. 10. They will have time to find their classrooms and become familiar with their schedules.

Orion Middle School

Principal Chad Bahnks reported custodians and maintenance workers completed the courtyard project at Orion Middle School. The crew included Henry Carson, Dennis Lehr, Anthony Zuidema and Tom Hamerlinck.

When school starts, the new seventh graders will see the flowers they planted last spring while they were Emily Walker’s students, Bahnks said.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, OMS will have concussion testing and equipment handout at 3:15 p.m.

Backpack Night is also Aug. 12. Sixth graders will be in the building from 4:30 to 6 p.m. to move in to their lockers. A student/parent expectations meeting will be at 5:15 p.m.

From 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12, seventh and eighth graders will move into their lockers. The student/parent expectations meeting will be at 6:45 p.m.

Bahnks said cross country’s first race will be Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Knoxville. The first football game will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, vs. Sherrard at Charger Field. Girls basketball begins on Monday, Sept. 13, at Galesburg Churchill.

C.R. Hanna

Class lists will be available at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, on the school’s website.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, kindergarten visits are set for noon to 6

p.m. Backpack night for first through fifth graders will be 4 to 6 p.m.

The preschool parent meeting will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, followed by the preschool open house from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, and the first day of preschool on Monday, Aug. 23.

In other business

• Board member Karl Kane was absent.

• OHS is waiting on Henry County’s asphalt plant to deliver paving materials for repairs of the student parking lot.

• With support from USDA, the Orion schools are providing one free lunch to each student per school day. Students taking a second lunch will be charged $3 at C.R. Hanna and $3.25 at OMS and OHS. Adult lunches will be $4.25.

• Superintendent Joe Blessman reported that ending balances in the four main funds increased from July 2020 to July 2021. The four funds are education, operations and maintenance, transportation and working cash.

• The board presented certificates of merit to Orion High School athletes who competed at the Illinois High School Association’s state meet. They were Olivia Thomsen, 800- and 1600-meter runs; Maryn Bollinger, Lily Moen, Melaina Meisenburg and Thomsen, 3200 relay, and Josh Spranger, discus. Also recognized were their coaches, Morgan Matson and Logan Hohl