Caiden Little, a 7th grader at Burns Middle School, has a record to hold.
“I’ve always made aces. I’ve never had a B in my life,” Little said Monday morning.
Monday was the first day of school for Little and some 14,000 students at Cleveland County schools, and a first chance to spend the year on a high note.
“Today went well. We walked in, said the Pledge of Allegiance, and now we’re doing some group work,” Little said.
While students have spent most of the last school year dividing themselves between in-person and distance learning, this year the students are all back in classrooms full-time.
While Little has said he enjoys being home, he’s happy to be back in a classroom this year.
“Sometimes with virtual you couldn’t communicate face to face. If you had a question, you couldn’t always get an answer immediately,” he said.
Little’s math teacher Patty Grigg said she was happy to have students like him back in class full-time this year.
“It’s great. They can’t wait to work, they already work well as a group,” said Grigg. “They are happy to be back in class and to be with their friends.”
During the school day, Stephen Fisher, Principal of Schools, visited every school in the district.
“We’re seeing a lot of engagement. The students and staff seem really excited to be going back to school. It’s the most important thing I’ve seen,” Fisher said. “We are looking forward to a phenomenal 2021-2022 school year. I know our teachers and staff are really excited.”
Much of Monday at Burns Middle was spent making sure student schedules were correct and providing new laptops for those who didn’t attend orientation this summer.
“We want our kids to be safe in the building, feed them, make sure they know our expectations and get them home safely. If we can do all of that, we’ll set the tone for the whole year.” , said Jacob Wilson. , principal of Burns Middle School.
This year is an interesting one for Wilson. A product of Burns’ middle and high schools himself, Wilson was named the college principal this year. Previously, he spent four years as a principal at Union Elementary.
“It’s cool to see familiar faces. As you crossed the line this morning, you got to see parents who recognized me and for some of the new sixth graders this year too, you can tell that it alleviated some fears. this morning, “he said. “The students here are a lot more independent, so I’m always getting used to the difference in the way the kids interact with you.”
Dustin George can be reached at 704-669-3337 or [email protected] Find him on Twitter @DustinLGeorge.