More than 1,500 students are enrolled in the Boonville R-1 School District this year.

As fall crawls up on central Missouri, the Boonville R-1 School District opened its doors this morning for the start of the 2012-13 academic year. Custodial and maintenance crews have been prepping district buildings in anticipation of the more than 1,500 students seeking a public education in the area. The crews work year-round, though that work becomes more intense as summer comes to a close, according to Boonville's Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mark Ficken. "Obviously, you can imagine the cleaning and waxing preps that go into all the buildings. This is a very lengthy process. Imagine all the light bulbs and filters that have to be changed. My hat goes off to our custodial crews because the window of opportunity to get this stuff done is very short," said Dr. Ficken. Different this year than those previous is the district's new text-alert signup policy – a program deemed "red." Students and parents can access the R-1 website and enroll in cellphone alerts that notify them instantly and simultaneously in the case of emergencies or time-sensitive happenings. "This is an efficient program we recommend to anyone that's associated with the district. If anything were to happen, people would receive texts immediately. It's very simple. Go to the district website and follow the "red" links," Ficken said. Teaching staff for the R-1 2012-13 year total approximately 185. Boonville High School has a total full-time enrollment of 494. Likewise, Laura Speed Elliot Middle School has 337 students. Hanna Cole Primary has 347 and David Barton Elementary has enrolled 327. To sign up for "red," the Boonville R-1 School District's website can be accessed at