First day goes smoothly for Lee schools

TUPELO – On the first day of school, Shannon Elementary’s students spent the day getting acclimated to new things, especially a new playground.
Third-year Principal Ida Brand was excited to see her students enjoying the school’s first new set of playground equipment since the 1960s. Brand calls it the outdoor physical fitness center.
“This first day has been a good one so far,” Brand said as she watched her third-graders enjoy new toys Thursday morning.
“Traffic was a little hectic this morning, but we didn’t have any accidents or traffic jams. The students came in excited and ready to go and we had a lot of new parents to show up for the first day. So this has been a very good day one for us.”
Thursday was a day of many firsts for students. Shannon Elementary fourth-grade teacher Zellerie Cox spent the first day going over classroom rules with her students.
“What do you do if you want to go to the restroom?” Cox asked the class of eager faces.
In unison they shouted, “Hold up one finger!”
Lee County Schools Superintendent Mike Scott said Wednesday afternoon that the day had gone so well he was almost afraid to speak on it for fear of jinxing it.
“Countywide it has been more like the end of the first month than the first day,” he said.
Even the dreaded traffic problem everyone anticipated wasn’t that bad, police said.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson reported heavy traffic at Mooreville Elementary and Shannon Primary schools, but few problems came from it. Saltillo Police Capt. Prentice Brown echoed Johnson’s assessment of the day’s road congestion.
“Traffic did flow slowly because of the closed lanes,” said Brown, referring to sections of Highway 45 north and south that were closed near the Saltillo Primary School. “But things went very well, considering it was the first day. It’s going to be slow Friday too, but we’ll get through it.”
The northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 45 between the Euclatubba Road intersection and the primary school exit will continue to be cut down to one lane from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. today.
As eager as many were to get to school Thursday, they were just as eager to get out. Students at Guntown Middle School crammed through the exit doors when the 2:50 p.m. bell rang for school to let out.
Principal Steven Havens spent time helping students who’d forgotten what bus they rode on to school find they rides home.
As teachers stood in the parking lot and waved at students on the passing buses, some let out sighs of relief.
“One day down, 179 more to go,” said one teacher.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal