Athletic games were rescheduled, practices were held in the early morning hours before school started to beat the heat, and students seemed to easily get back into class schedules. Administrators said students handled it all very well.
“The first week has started out very well, and we're looking forward to a fantastic school year. The extreme heat this week would have normally caused us to move to half-day schedules; however, now that we have air conditioning in all of our instructional spaces that was not necessary. I would say that air conditioning was a wise investment,” said Superintendent Craig McCarthy.
The high school air conditioning installation was completed this summer as part of the 2019 bond projects. It was the last of the school buildings to have air conditioning added.
High school students are also getting used to their new expanded cafeteria, which now has seating for up to 600 students at a time. The new high-top tables and chairs are a popular choice for small groups. Other new seating offers options for small groups, individuals and larger groups of students to enjoy lunch together, view the big screen televisions with morning announcements and other information, or face windows to look outside.
Members of the senior class gathered on their first day back to school for the annual senior sunrise on the football field. While it was still dark outside, they lined up for breakfast cinnamon rolls, coffee and other treats. Then they enjoyed some time together on the field as the sun came up on the last first day of school. Many said it was a great way to set a positive tone for the year ahead and start memories of an unforgettable year.
High school students were also challenged to “Choose Your Legacy” and decide what impact they wanted to have on their school this year.
At the middle school, some seventh-grade students in Mrs. Skiba’s and Mrs. Siekman’s classes competed in a team-building construction competition. Groups had to work together to see who could build the tallest tower. Each round offered a different challenge - like not being able to talk to each other while building, using only one hand, and then finally being able to use all resources available to them. The exercise forces students to find ways to work together successfully, even if they have an added disadvantage.
Middle School Principal Kelli Arnold-Wegner said everyone seems excited about the start of the new year. “Our students navigated this week like champs! They found classes quickly and worked through locker combinations like pros. Students have stated they are excited to be back, and they love their classes and new teachers.”
Elementary principals said they’ve also enjoyed a great start for the year. “It has been an incredible first week of school at Page. Our students have done a phenomenal job adjusting to being back at school. It has been one of the best beginnings to a school year that I can remember,” said Page Principal Gregg Bruno.
New Lee Elementary Principal Megan Wonders agreed. “Lee students have done an excellent job learning expectations and behaviors. We're so impressed and looking forward to a great year! Pick up and drop off went very well this week and should be even a little faster next week now that we are all more familiar. We greatly appreciate everyone working together to make this a safe and efficient process!”
McFall students also are quickly learning their new routine as many of them start their school experience. It’s a big adjustment for many, but McFall teachers and staff know just how to calm and care for anxious students.
McCarthy said it’s always a good feeling to get back in the classrooms. “We have a tremendous amount to be proud of at TK and in the greater community. The passion and commitment displayed in the community are also strong and vibrant within our staff. Our staff members are ready to work hard to improve student achievement and develop our students’ greatest potential. I’m looking forward to a great year!”