Enthusiastic welcome greets many students
The other was Faxon Elementary. Five schools are pioneering standards-based education, and Covington has said they should bear little resemblance to what people remember of their elementary school experience.
So far, so good at Faxon, he said. He was hearing the new terminology, watching students find out about learning targets.
One little glitch: He tapped a class roster taped to the window in one classroom entryway. Over the children’s names was the heading “Second grade.”
The principal winced an “oops” and took it down.
At Central High School, Principal Linda Collins shouted over cheering students a message that could apply to the whole district on its opening day.
“Put the past behind you, because that’s a good place for it,” she said.
Students had stepped off of buses to back-thumping hugs, high-fives and smiles.
Some, like junior Keylynn Dixon, wondered how well the year would go with Central students now mixed with students who had gone to other high schools.
Some, like 16-year-old Trenton Lapsley, were excited to join friends in a school with new leaders and new teachers.
“I’ve been waiting for this day,” he said.
The students cheered as Collins rallied them in Central’s field house.
“You are young and you are gifted and you are talented and you are bright,” she shouted.
Collins said she would not tolerate bad behavior, and to prove it she called out two boys who talked through her presentation.
“We need to have a come-toJesus meeting,” Collins told the boys, who were sent to her office. There, Collins scolded the boys and said their behavior was rude. The two apologized, promised to do better and asked for “a fresh start.”
“This is going to be a good year,” Collins said after sending them off to their first class. “But we have to press boundaries on them here. We have to let them know, this ain’t the old Central.”
On the opening day of school at Banneker Elementary, arriving pupils, including 5-year-old Danaja Riggins, received bus tags for their wrists, in this case from librarian Diedre Stratton. The tags would help later in the day for the return home.