CHRIS KIEFFER: It’s back-to-school time, once again

It’s that time of year again. Although it seems like graduation was only yesterday, many Northeast Mississippi school districts begin classes this week. The 2010-11 school year is nearly under way.
The new year officially begins Wednesday when Amory, Calhoun County and Tupelo school districts open their doors.
Several more districts start on Thursday. Those include Baldwyn, Booneville, Lafayette County, Lee County, Marshall County, Monroe County, Nettleton, Pontotoc County (elementary students), Prentiss County, Starkville, Tishomingo County and Alcorn County.
On Friday, students in Itawamba County, Oxford and Pontotoc City, and middle and high school students in Pontotoc County will report to class.
Summer will last a little bit longer for those in Benton County, Chickasaw County, Clay County, Corinth, Houston, North Tippah, Okolona, South Tippah, West Point and Aberdeen. Those students can enjoy their last week of summer before starting class on Aug. 9.
Finally, New Albany and Union County Schools will close out the school openings when they begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 10.
Whenever the new school year begins in your community, streets will be full of buses shuttling kids back and forth.
Several kindergarten children will be heading into classrooms for the first time, and high school seniors will start their final year of secondary education.
First-year teachers will begin undergoing growing pains, and many schools will learn to adjust to new principals.
It will be a year with more and more technology in area classrooms. The Tupelo Public School District will start the first year of its new laptop initiative with computers for every sixth- to 12th-grade student, and many other districts will add various computers, interactive white boards and other devices in an attempt to better engage their students.
Meanwhile, test scores from last spring’s state standardized tests soon will be revealed, and we’ll get our first look at whether districts and schools have improved or declined under the state’s new model.
Districts received their first rankings under that model last November.
Ultimately, that model is designed to make sure Mississippi’s schools are meeting national standards and its kids are learning the skills they need to be competitive and successful.
The true work needed for that to happen begins this week.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer / NEMS Daily Journal