School year begins anew

By Scout Anatricia
Reader Intern

The tears in our eyes aren’t just from the smoke (thankfully gone from our skies). They are the bittersweet tears caused by the sound of books opening and school bells reminding us that we’re late to class.

It’s that time of year again, and back-to-school affects the whole community; teachers are putting away their margarita mix and stocking up on coffee beans, hairdressers are working extra hard to perfect this season’s hairstyles for anxious teens, hard-working citizens are wearing out their breaks with all the children scattering across the road to and from school and everyone is trying to remember how to form a sentence without using profanity.ScoutSeleySeniorPic-featured

Back-to-school season takes a community effort. Everyone has their opinions on education, whether it be political, financial or emotional. But no one anticipates the new school year more than returning students and teachers.

Sawyer Seley, an upcoming sophomore at Sandpoint High School, is excited for the upcoming sports season, including his favorite, football. Seley is the kicker for the JV football team. In fact, their first game took place Thursday, Aug. 27 at the high school field.

“I really want people to come watch us play, because I think we have improved a lot from last year,” he said. “I’m pretty jacked for the season.”

The beginning of the school year is always a little nerve-wracking for students. You have to figure out where all the cool kids are sitting, for one thing. Then you have to wonder if you are one of the cool kids, and if you’re not, then what the heck are you?

This mixture of excitement and stress doesn’t just take hold of the students, though; it grasps the teachers as well.

Forrest Bird Charter School teacher Wendy Thompson is just one instructor whose memories are mixed with the bittersweet excitement for the upcoming school year. Thompson may take a break from teaching during the summer, but she never stops preparing for classes. During her free time between painting her kitchen and mothering her two children, she read seven books about the Oregon Trail to prepare for just one of her classes.

“I am so excited to see my students,” she said. “I love them and miss them over the summer. I’m excited to get back in the classroom, but I’m definitely going to miss being able to sit out in the sun, preparing for classes and sipping a beer.”

The students are really what keep Thompson interested in teaching. She admires the deep camaraderie between students at the charter school as well as their willingness to learn.

Students and teachers aren’t the only ones who have a stake in the coming year. Don’t forget about the supporting group; administration and school boards.

Zone 4 school trustee Geraldine Lewis joined the board in May, and she is so excited about her new position and the decisions she helps to make from staffing to budgeting.

“I am so excited about the newer, more rigorous [Common Core standards] that are being implemented in the school system,” Lewis said. “Since the newer teaching standards, we have tested higher in English and language arts and math district-wide, for the most part.”

Lewis also shares exciting news that there will be a curriculum change district-wide, with the implementation of the Step-up-to-Writing program that is intended to revamp writing and provide seamless transitions between grade levels. This program is being funded by PAFE (Panhandle Alliance For Education) which Lewis was also a part of.

Those with any questions about schools this year are encouraged to contact Superintendent Shawn Woodward at the district office if they have further questions. He can be reached at (208) 263-2184 as well as sha[email protected]

This article concludes Scout’s summer internship with the Reader. We’ve enjoyed having her on board and readers can look forward to seeing her writing again in the future issues of the Reader. Thanks Scout! Best of luck to you!

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