At Ottumwa High School, lessons learned from last year will be reinforced from Day One this year. Principal Mark Hanson has been emphasizing the 10 Standards of Success, and this year will be no different.
"There are a few changes in attire, and we will review that," he explained. "We'll also stress being accountable and getting work in on time."
Those 10 standards are a work in progress, and Hanson wants to make sure students and staff alike are all on the same page.
"We've made headway with the way students conduct themselves, the way they interact with each other, the way staff interacts with each other," he said. "It's a code we've all adopted, and we want to continue on that path."
One thing that won't be changing at the high school is the focus on academic excellence.
"We've set the bar high for our students and staff so they can reach new heights," Hanson said. "I firmly believe that."
At Evans Middle School, the major change will be a logistical one. The focus over the summer has been figuring out a traffic plan that will keep students from weaving between cars and prevent traffic hazards. The solution will be to allow vehicle traffic to exit the Evans parking lot using Hamilton Street.
"This new flow of traffic, opening Hamilton, is for the safety of the kids," Principal Dave Harper said. "Right now, with parents trying to drop off or pick up on Ferry Street, kids are darting between cars. Now we can provide a safe means to arrive and leave for those 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon."
And it will keep personal vehicles and buses separate during the busiest times of day. In addition, staff will be keeping an eye out to make sure no one is parking in the fire lanes.