Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Students talk with each other during their lunch period on the first day of school Wednesday at the Mayfield Junior/Senior High School.
Nicole Antonucci/Recorder staff Interim Superintendent Paul A. Scott talks to some 11th graders Wednesday about how thier first day of school is going.
By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
Recorder News Staff
Summer vacation ended today for children throughout Fulton County as they woke up a little bit earlier, grabbed their backpacks, and set out for their first day of school.
However, for students in the Mayfield Central School District, classes started Wednesday.
Mayfield district officials reported that the first day went without a hitch from the timely arrival of the school buses in the morning and the cafeteria employees prepared to feed students, to teachers already diving into their lesson plans and providing instruction. For some students, that meant going home with homework.
"It was a well-oiled machine," Mayfield Jr./Sr. High School Principal Christopher Wojeski said. "It seemed like we were in our seventh week here rather than the first day."
Walking around the high school Wednesday, the only signs that it was the first day was when students needed a little extra guidance getting to a classroom and the seventh graders needed help opening their lockers.
Interim Superintendent A. Paul Scott stood in the hallway as students filtered from class to class, randomly calling on a student to ask them how their day was going.
Most of the students answered that the day was good but a few admitted they were stressed. Scott said it was perfectly normal.
"Some don't know where their class is and they are learning a new wing of the building. Some don't know who they are going to eating lunch with, etc.," he said.
The first-day lunch room challenge of finding friends to sit with didn't seem to be a problem in the high school as students filed in to the cafeteria. They picked up their lunches, then sat down and quickly engaged in conversations with the others seated at the table, as if it was a normal school day. A soft buzzing eventually filled the room as students began talking with friends.
For those who purchased lunch in the cafeteria, the choice was a chef's salad or a hamburger, a drink of milk, and fruit.
Scott said the lunch menu is a little different this year to incorporate options that would give students a more balanced diet. Rather than one or two choices, students can choose from different food groups.
"It helps students become more experienced making choices," Scott said.
Students are also going to see changes in what they are allowed to wear. That is because the school dress code is being enforced this year. Wojeski said the goal is for the high school to become more aligned with the rest of the district, so what applies to the elementary school, applies to the high school as well.
"In any career that you pursue, there is some type of dress code," Wojeski said. "We are trying to make a more uniform policy for K-12."
New staff members have also been hired to help the district work on changes in the curriculum and improve students achievements. With the help of a grant, the district was able to create five positions, including a master teacher and teacher leaders.
Wojeski said the master teacher is a curriculum instructor whose job is to align the curriculum with the common core standards, facilitate professional development, and conduct informal evaluations in the classrooms.
While the district has fully implemented the changes to the common core standards Scott said the idea to keep updating the curriculum as additional changes from the state are adopted.
If the first day of school is any indicator on how the rest of the year is going to go, then officials and students in the Mayfield School District can call it a success.
"There is always optimism at the beginning of the year," Wojeski said. "It is a fresh start and a clean slate. I am looking forward to a fresh school year."