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West County registration, open house dates announced

It’s almost time for area districts to welcome students to the brand-new 2023-2024 school year.

West County’s district-wide open house takes place at each building on Thursday, Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m.

The first day of student attendance at West County for the 2023-2024 academic year is Wednesday, Aug. 23.

School supply lists for elementary and middle school students are available on the district’s website at, on the district’s Facebook page and at area Walmart locations.

New students

Students who are new to the West St. Francois County R-4 School District register on Thursday, Aug. 10 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at all buildings. Parents of all students who are new to the district should call 573-562-7535 (extension 1 for high school, 2 for middle school and 3 for elementary) to schedule an appointment. Parents must have proof of residency, shot records, previous school information and the student’s state-issued birth certificate in order to enroll.

High School

All returning West County students who will attend high school should register on Thursday, Aug. 10 anytime between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Students will receive their locker and parking spot at registration. Students must have a $0 lunch balance to receive a parking spot.

WCHS Secretary Susan Masters will mail required paperwork to students during the first week of August. If students return all completed forms including the free/reduced lunch form, they will be eligible to attend an open lunch shift on a date that will later be determined. (Students must return a permission slip for this open lunch.)

WCHS Principal James Abel said he’s excited about the new school year and looks forward to seeing both students and staff return for 2023-2024.

“The custodial and maintenance staff have worked very hard preparing the building for the upcoming school year,” he said. “The building looks great, and we appreciate their hard work!”

Abel added that he’s excited to welcome returning not only returning but also new faculty members.

“We have a wonderful staff at West County High School, and we’re ready to welcome new members who will be a great addition,” he said.

Middle School

Registration at WCMS is only for students who are new to the district (see information above). New students may register at WCMS on Aug. 10 between 8:30-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m.

WCMS Secretary Laura Richardson will mail required paperwork home to students during the first week of August. Completed paperwork may be returned at open house on Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m.

WCMS Principal Lindsay Jackson said the beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for everyone.

“The anticipation of seeing the students and staff again after summer break always makes me eager to get things started,” she said. “The teachers and staff work hard to get the students excited about school, and our custodians work hard to prepare our building for students and their families.”


Steve Voyles is the new principal at West County Elementary School.

“It’s been wonderful to get acquainted with many of the West County families this summer,” he said.

Voyles is eager to meet students and their families and staff at the start of the new school year.

He said the maintenance staff has been working extremely hard this summer with cleaning, repairing, upgrading, and preparing the building and grounds for the staff and students. Some of these tasks include adding a new sign for student drop-off and office identification; repainting the cafeteria to match the theme and colors of the hallway; rerouting the upper elementary parent pickup line to provide a safer travel space for students and parents; and modifying the office entryway to maintain the security of the building while making a space for visitors to get out of the weather while checking in at the office.

“’We are West County’ and we cannot wait to have another fun and successful school year in 2023-24!” said Voyles.

-Registration for new students: Aug. 10 (call 573-562-7535 for an appointment)

-Open house: Thursday, Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m. for all students

-Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 23

Pam Clifton is a contributing writer whose work often appears in Missouri Life magazine.

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