About 59,000 students returned to class in Mobile County Public Schools on Wednesday, and changes for this year include new schools, new programs and additional pre-kindergarten classrooms.
The new Denton Magnet School of Technology opened. Both students and teachers were excited about the new curriculum, which includes coding, robotics, engineering, audio-visual production, and more.
“As a magnet school, we are able to offer a very focused curriculum and teach things you can’t get at any other middle school around,” said Stephen Watts, counselor.
Denton’s teachers were excited to get the school year started.
“We’ve been up here working night and day, all though the summer, pushing to get this school ready, and it’s nice to get some kids in the room,” said sixth-grade earth science teacher Jacquelyn Adams, who showed up on the first day in a space flight suit she got for participating in NASA’s Space Academy for educators.
Citronelle High students walked into their brand new campus.
“Everybody that I’ve talked to just has an excitement about them. It’s going to be the heartbeat of Citronelle and everybody knows that,” said Citronelle Principal Randy Campbell. “This new school building is state-of-the-art. Inside, the technology is second to none.”
Scarborough is now a Model Middle School. And the new Williamson now serves students in grades 6-12, with the new Williamson Middle Grades Preparatory Academy. Sixth- through eighth- graders are housed in a separate wing and have separate take-in and dismissal times.
Kennedy Meggs, an eighth-grader at Williamson, said she is looking forward to this school year. She is excited that her school will have more electives and activities, including band, drama, art and agriscience.
“What is agriscience?” she asked one of several new teachers hired, John Halliday.
Halliday, who moved from MGM to Williamson, replied: “It is where we will plant vegetables and learn about science and how what we eat and what we wear come from plants.”
Her reply: “Cool.”
More than 600 buses traveled 40,000 miles to bring students to school. And cafeteria workers prepared 75,000 meals, including breakfast and lunch, which are offered free of charge.
Mobile County Public Schools converted all of its pre-kindergarten classrooms to the national-award-winning Alabama First Class Pre-K program in January. And this year, the district opened five new pre-k classes, bringing the system’s total to 59, which serve more than 1,000 four-year-olds.
Across the county, students were settling right in to their classes.
“I’m great at being at kindergarten,” said Pa’Lar Crawfod.