The 2014-15 school year is off to a smooth start at Smith-Cotton High School after students returned to class Thursday morning.
Students started their morning by picking up their class schedules in the gym and making their way to their first class. Plenty of teachers and staff members lined each hallway to assist any student who looked a little lost.
“Traffic control went great, all the students seemed excited to start the year off,” said Principal Wade Norton. “We’re off to a good start.”
The first day was made a little easier with the addition of large directional signs posted throughout the building to direct students — plus teachers and visitors — to various parts of the school. Norton said he thought the new signs were part of what made Thursday go so smoothly.
“It allows the students to try to solve their own problems before asking an adult. It helps them move through the building more quickly and efficiently,” he said. “Last year on the first day of school a young man asked me where a room was and I didn’t know. They’re up there for students, but it also helps teachers and administrators quickly help a student.”
There have been several other changes at the high school to help students: seminar has been moved to the first period of the day to help with initiatives to improve attendance, many classrooms have been moved to better group subject areas to enhance teacher collaboration, and the main entrance has been altered to improve school security.
Norton also has a theme for the 2014-15 school year: “Unite. Strive. Achieve.” The theme was introduced Thursday.
“We want students to know if they unite as a grade, as a building, striving for achievement will be easy,” he said. “We want them to achieve in academics, activities and athletics, which are all important aspects of being a student. This is a message we’ll keep relaying throughout the year. We’ll show examples of people united together to overcome obstacles to achieve. The students will set personal and school-related goals, some short and long term. The teachers set goals for themselves too.”