First day runs smoothly

It may have been two hours late for some schools, but the first day of school ran smoothly Wednesday for area teachers, students and parents.

“We started with a two-hour delay, but everything went well” said Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond. “Teachers did a great job with introducing students to the new school year.”

Newton-Conover City Schools and Startown and Balls Creek elementary schools opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday following a water line break Tuesday in Newton that threatened water pressure and sanitation for city water customers.

“Even in the schools that had delays, we had a very smooth opening,” said Carleen Crawford, Catawba County Schools public information officer. “We’re always happy when we have a smooth opening.”

Officials in both school systems said this is the first time they can remember that school was delayed on the first day back from summer vacation.

“I’ve been doing this many years, and I can’t remember it ever happening before,” Redmond said.

Parents of students in Startown and Balls Creek elementaries were notified of possible delays Tuesday evening using an automated call system.

The system made more than 1,500 calls in 15 minutes informing parents of the delay, Crawford said. Parents were also contacted again Wednesday morning.

Despite the delays, school continued as normal for teachers, students and parents.