• 50°

Thorsby begins a new school year

The halls of Thorsby School were buzzing once again during the first day of the 2017-2018 school year on Aug. 9.

It was a fresh beginning for both students and teachers who attempted to get back in the routine after the summer break.

For some students it was a new experience, such as kindergarteners going to school for the first time, and for others it was much of the same, as was the case for seniors.

With Thorsby having grades K-12 at one school, principal Corey Clements saw both ends of the spectrum.

There are at least seven new hires to the Thorsby faculty for the new school year.

“That’s a lot of new faces for a faculty this size,” Clements said. “Some we hated to see go, but I look for a lot of good, young energy this school year.”

It was also the first time that Clements opened up the school year as principal after he was hired for the position during the second half of last year.

According to Clements, the four months that he spent as principal at the tail end of last year helped develop a strong expectation level between him and the students heading into a new year.

The first couple of days of a school year always seems to serve as a transition period, as answering questions and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be is much of the focus.

“There is a tremendous amount of organizing with lunch schedules, PE schedules and planning periods,” Clements said. “The logistics of running a K-12 are very different.”

Thorsby held an orientation on Aug. 7 and had more than 300 parents attend. That number was up from 131 that took part in last year’s meeting.

“That was huge to have that many parents involved and in-person,” Clements said.

Communication is an aspect that Thorsby School is trying to improve as a whole and the turnout for orientation was a positive first step in that direction.

Other adjustments for this year with improving the chain of communication in mind include doing more call outs than ever before and the creation of an official school Twitter account at twitter.com/THSRebelsSchool.

There are not a lot of major changes heading into this year, although the school continues to experiment with modifications to student pickup after school.

“I tried to communicate to our parents that any changes we make, the rationale for doing it is to make our kids safer,” Clements said. “We’re not just changing it to try something different.”

One of the safety additions for this year is a buzzer that visitors must press and gain clearance by the office staff for the door of the front entrance to be unlocked.

The implementation of the buzzer was a decision by the Chilton County School System.

Clements thanked former principal Russ Bryan for the support and pointers that he has provided since taking over the position.

“I’ve called him countless times and eaten breakfast with him every Saturday,” Clements said. “He has been and continues to be a tremendous help for me and Thorsby.”