New clothes, new books, new teachers and friends...and for some, a brand new school...marked the the first day of school on Wednesday for Blackfoot School District 55. The start of this year's school year marked the first day for 17 students, teachers Amy Wren and Garth Carlson and principal Brandee Hewatt at the new Summit Middle School, located upstairs in the district office on Shilling Street.
The school received a 21st Century Grant in Mid-April to offer a non-tradtional type of school, focused on "project-based learning."
"Rather than sitting at a desk all day, the students will participate in a variety of activities, indoors, outdoors and out it the community through "real world applications," Hewatt as
Wren said that the the first day was not without its glitches, saying, "We had a few technical issues that need to be resolved, but otherwise, it was a good day."
Carlson agreed, saying, "The first day of school is always an adventure but the kids had fun."
Carlson said the classes have already started working on a project making "mouse trap cars." He said the next project will be designing a library for their new school which will include building and installing the bookcases.
Superintendent Chad Struhs and his team toured every school in the district on Wednesday to assess how the first day of school was going.
"It was a great day and good things are happening. Everything operated very well. The students and teachers are very excited," he said.
"I attended an assembly at the high school for the incoming freshman and was very impressed with how the whole thing was handled," Struhs added.
Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy in Fort Hall (in the newly formed School District #483) was also scheduled to have its first day on Wednesday; however, the opening was delayed due to the Eastern Idaho State Fair and some last minute touch-ups to the school. Chief Tahgee's first day of school has been postponed until Sept. 9.