Although school doesn't begin for a week, Juneau-Douglas High School is already bustling with students.
The JDHS commons was criss-crossed with lines of students and parents Tuesday afternoon on the first day of high school registration. Registration continues through Friday.
"I want us to be friendly and open and feel welcoming," said JDHS principal Bernie Sorenson. "Our challenge is to do all of that and accommodate everyone's wishes, needs, wants, desires and schedules, along with making sure that we still get that 1,700 students enrolled and ready for the first day of school."
She said the fiscal year 2006 budget anticipated 1,681 students at JDHS, but the district will update the number after registration is complete.
Just like the incoming freshmen, Sorenson is new to the halls of JDHS after taking over the position from interim principal John Norman. She spent the past two years as the assistant superintendent for the Juneau School District.
Continuing high school registration, alphabetically
Today: I-L from 8-10:30 a.m., C-D from noon-2:30
Thursday: A-B from 8-10:30 a.m., E-H from noon-2:30
Friday: R-S from 8-10:30 a.m., T-Z from noon-2:30
"The opening day of school doesn't just happen, and the larger the institution, the more detailed it is to make it run smoothly," she said. "It is definitely a 'we' effort. And I hope there is patience in the first week of school as we make sure, the high school in particular, that every kid and parent feels welcome as we figure out their schedules."
Sorenson said students don't only sign up for classes and activities this week, but they also get their student identification cards and locker assignments. There is also a nurse on site in case any students need the required shots, she said.
As he waited in line with his parents, incoming freshman Ryan Mendivil said Tuesday was "definitely" a big day for him. Mendivil, a former Floyd Dryden student, said he is planning to take band, French, physical education and the required freshman core classes.
"It's taking a while ... . It was pretty quick once we got to the counter, but there are so many kids," he said.
His father, Gary Mendivil, said waiting in line reminded him of his own high school days waiting to register. Although it took some time, he said they made the best of it.
"The line was moving and we were measuring it and figuring out how many feet-per-minute we were moving," Gary Mendivil said.
Senior Josh Lehauli was at JDHS Tuesday and said the school seems "pretty different" with the absence of last year's seniors and the arrival of all the new faces. He said he is excited that it's his senior year but a little sad to see summer slip away.
"That's the bad thing about it - summer seems so short," he said. "I'm hoping the school year will go by pretty quick. Oh well, the first day of school, everybody will be looking forward to it."
School begins districtwide Wednesday, Aug. 24, for grades 1-12.