People stand in front of a school
Parents and students gathered at McMullen Elementary School for Loudonville-Perrysville's first day of "soft start," which kicked off the 2023-2024 school year on Aug. 21, 2023.

LOUDONVILLE — Some Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village Schools students had their first day back on Monday.

The district started the year with a “soft launch” schedule, where only some students returned on each day of the week. 

At McMullen Elementary School on Monday morning, parents dropped off their students. Students dressed in new back-to-school gear and held their parents’ hands, hugging them before running inside for the first day. 

Jennifer Allerding (right) greets a family dropping their student off for the first day of school on Aug. 21, 2023. Allerding, the superintendent, said hello to families and welcomed their students throughout the morning.

Jennifer Allerding, the Loudonville superintendent, greeted them as they walked in the doors. She complimented their new shoes and backpacks.

On Monday, kindergarten students with last names starting with A-L, first through third graders, Budd fourth graders with last names starting with A-L, and all fifth through eighth graders started their years. Other students will return gradually on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

On Tuesday, kindergartners with last names starting with M-Z start school, along with fourth grade Budd students with last names starting with M-Z, fifth and sixth grade Budd students and all students in grades seven through 12. 

Wednesday marks the first day where all fourth grade students at Budd will attend school. 

According to Allerding, the Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village Schools has around 960 students enrolled this year. They’ll see new features across the school district’s facilities as they enter back into the schools.

Playgrounds and parking lots

The district saw a new alert system installed this summer. The system, called Centegix, cost the district $138,210, with $20,000 covered by a state grant, according to previous Ashland Source reporting. It got installed last week.

Along with the new security system, Loudonville-Perrysville Schools saw a number of projects happen over the summer.

The full list can be viewed in Allerding’s superintendent report from the board of education’s August meeting, which happened on Aug. 14. 

Highlights for Allerding included new playground equipment at Budd and McMullen, a new gym floor at McMullen and the repaving of the Budd parking lot. 

At McMullen, the elementary school that hosts pre-K through third graders, the new playground equipment is inclusive.

Families had their students pose for first day of school photos outside of the McMullen Elementary School sign on Aug. 21, 2023.

“That’s important to have,” Allerding said. “All kids like to play.”

She added that McMullen also has a new gym floor, paid for by a funding campaign run by the parent organization at McMullen. 

Budd Elementary also got new playground equipment, paid for by the parent organization at that school. Budd’s parking lot also got repaved over the summer. 

“It’s been a long time since that’s been redone, and so everyone’s excited about that,” Allerding said.

What’s next?

The Loudonville Redbirds started the football season with a win against Mapleton on Friday night. It marked the first time the team won its first game since 2014.

Some students will continue to return to school throughout the rest of the week. 

Loudonville-Perrysville’s board of education has its next meeting on Sept. 11. It will happen at 6 p.m. at Loudonville High School.

The Education section is brought to you by Ashland Family YMCA.

Ashland Source's Report for America corps member. She covers education and workforce development, among other things, for Ashland Source. Thomas comes to Ashland Source from Montana, where she graduated...