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School back in session for beginning of 2023-24 school year

Students and parents posed for pictures during morning car line on Aug. 11. (Photos by Jacob Sturm)

Students begin their first day of school at Riverwood Elementary on Aug. 11.

By Jacob Sturm

All sorts of emotions were present at different schools throughout the Mustang Public School
District as many children were dropped off for their first days of the 2023-24 school year.

The new experience for some parents and children can come with a lot of questions, and those
answers are readily available for those curious.

Kirk Wilson, the Director of Communications at Mustang Public Schools, referenced some
resources for people looking for particular information on lunch, bus routes and more to visit
the schools website.

“The majority of the information that is being asked about, whether it’s bus routes or menus or
open house dates and times, all of those things are on our website,” Wilson said. “So, we try
very hard to get all of the information that we can onto the website in an easy to find format.
And, if they’re unable to find it, then they can always message us on Facebook, or they can

The website also helps new parents from ways addressing how to enroll, to how to report
something if they have concerns. Superintendent Charles Bradley spoke to reporters Friday
about the excitement the district has for the start of the school year, and that point was
reiterated by Wilson.

“I think from a district standpoint, this is always exciting,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of like what Mr.
Bradley said this morning, that now we get to have the fun part. We’ve been planning for this
day since the middle of January when we started looking at schedules and reenrollments and all
of that stuff. And so, this is the culmination of all of those efforts to get our kiddos back in class,
and see those smiling faces this morning and just look forward to a great year of learning.”

Wilson said the district has a little over 1,600 staff members, and estimated a little more than
150 of them were new teachers coming to Mustang Public Schools starting this year.

Those numbers, according to Wilson, are on par with where the district normally is with
retirements and resignations and moves for teachers, along with the growth of the district.

“We are growing,” Wilson said. “…I think today, we are just over 13,600 students and we’re still
enrolling. I think there are 200 enrollments that are in the process of being completed (as of
Aug. 10). And so, that will go up even more from the 13,600 number.”

As for traffic, the district asks parents for patience as the first few weeks go by. Wilson said
there are also a lot of road closures and narrowing’s the buses will face on their routes to make
sure every student in the district is covered.

Bradley also said the district has five new additions being served that didn’t exist last year.

“There’s five new additions that were not on the transportation route last year,” Bradley said
when asked about district growth. “So, we have growth all over the place, and so we just have
good communication with them. We know when they are coming in, and will get those
addresses into our transportation routes. And that way, nobody gets left and we know where
every stop is.”

With all of that preparation for the school year coming to a head with the first day of school
Aug. 11, there is a sense of excitement around the district.

“It’s fantastic,” Bradley said. “All the prep, all that we go through… The prep for the new school
year starts in January of the previous getting everything ready, making sure the finances are in
order, making sure of teacher counts and all that fun stuff. But over the summer it really ramps
up, and that’s when you can feel the excitement build up. And that’s where we are right now.”

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