More than 9,000 students, 650 teachers and 600 staff members began a new school year in Washington County on Tuesday.
“We’re back,” Lynna Bingham, a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Boones Creek Middle School said. “It’s going to be a good year.”
Bingham’s best advice to returning students everywhere? “Try your best and have a good attitude.”
“It’ll all work out,” BCMS Principal Mike Edmonds assured everyone in the car riders’ line at the 11 a.m. conclusion of Tuesday’s modified half-day schedule.
“It’s been very smooth,” Edmonds said. “We had a very good open house here (Monday) night with a very large turnout of parents and students. That helps make things smoother here this morning. And it makes them feel better when they get to come in and see their classrooms and meet their teachers.
“We’ve had several opportunities for students and parents who are new to our school to come in and learn about the school. And we’re excited to have them here. We have a rigorous curriculum in Tennessee and we need a lot of parent involvement as we all work together.”
The big issue today, Edmonds said, will be “seventh-grade immunizations.” All seventh-graders must show proof their shots are up to date or that they have an appointment scheduled to receive the required immunizations.
Rigorous curriculums, shots and the return to school schedules aside, eighth-grader Harmony Hamilton had a good day.
“It was good,” she said upon her exit. New to East Tennessee from California at the end of the last school year, Harmony’s mom, Tylin Siebert, said they were glad to find their school “a little more hands on” and “a little nicer.”
“It’s different,” sixth-grader John Good reported as he filed out. His first impressions? He likes his teachers. His books are heavy. And the best thing that happened was getting to see all his old friends.
“Now if we can just get the funds,” said his mother, Sandra Good, who has been very pleased with their experience at both Boones Creek elementary and middle schools but is concerned the school system is still operating under last year’s budget.
Eighth-grader Lana Brito said she and her class were excited to learn on Tuesday about tarantulas. “They’re spiders and Ms. (Katie) Crowe has one. It’s all we talked about,” she said.
“The day’s not over yet, but everything seems to be on track,” Director of Schools Ron Dykes said just before the morning dismissal. “We’re looking forward to an exciting new year and to getting the buses rolling and the education flowing. We certainly want the children to get as much rest as possible, to be as attentive as they can in their studies and as safe as they can in all their activities.”