Texarkana students head back to school Wednesday

Thousands of Texarkana students return for new school year

TEXARKANA, USA (KSLA) -Thousands of students on both the Arkansas and Texas sides of Texarkana are headed back to school for their first day.

Students return to school in Texarkana

Nearly 4,000 students and over 400 teachers will be back in the classrooms on the Arkansas side Wednesday morning.

Texarkana Arkansas School District’s Director of Public Relations Genia Bullock says they’ve added some new programs and created some new partnerships including one with the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana.

“When you graduate from Arkansas High School you will not only receive a high school diploma, but you’ll receive an associates degree from the University of Arkansas,” she said.

Bullock says they also have a flex academy available for students that helps students graduate in a non-traditional school setting.

First day for students in Texarkana

On the Texas side, Superintendent Paul Norton says they've spent the summer working on a variety of things including renovations to their new aquatics center.

Norton says the district took over the pool in January, and later on this week students will be able to swim there.

He says they are in the process of constructing a golf facility and Tiger Drive that leads to the athletic facilities at Texas High School will be complete in a few weeks.

The district has also added new security measures around school campuses too.

“We completely added onto our camera system,” Norton said. "(We added) lots of additional cameras around our campuses for more security and safety purposes. That was a huge initiative through the Texas Legislature this past session.

Another thing passed through legislation was salary increases for teachers and faculty. Teachers in the district will see around a ten to 17 percent increase in their pay this school year.

Norton says they were also able to add more teachers and classroom positions for the new school year.

When it comes to traffic, Norton says parents should drive more carefully this week since more cars will be out on the roads.

“The first couple of days of school are always very traffic heavy, because everybody takes their child to school,” he said. “Probably the first of next week everything will even out, and we’ll be back to a normal dismissal and drop off traffic schedule.”

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