CAMERON - Cameron schools open their doors for the start of a new academic year today, but teachers and administrators have been preparing since Monday to welcome students.
Several workshops for teachers and administrators at all grade levels were held throughout the week to review Next Generation Content Standards, high school Principal Jack Cain said. Staff also reviewed new state requirements for teacher evaluations and WESTEST2 results.
According to Cain, teachers also completed 12 of the required 18 continuing education credits in the past week. In addition, cooks and service personnel completed first aid training, and employees participated in a safety program.
Photo by Sarah Harmon
Social studies teacher Dan Gatts gets his classroom ready for the first day of class in Cameron schools today.
This is the third year the school, along with Cameron Elementary, will operate on a modified calendar separate from other schools in the district. As part of a state Innovation Zone Grant, the schools have been operating on a calendar that places longer breaks throughout the year and reduces the length of the summer break.
The shortened summer break still allowed for outstanding work to be completed before students returned. Teachers spent Wednesday setting up their classrooms and "getting used to" the new high/middle school building, which has been undergoing numerous fixes since it opened in January.
Cain said the building is "99 percent ready" with just a few finishing touches left to address, such as resealing some windows, calibrating a cooler in the meat lab and muffling a shop dust collecting unit. Cain said custodians have also worked to clean up remaining construction dust in the building over the summer.
"There is still a 'wow' factor walking into this building," Cain said. "You never know when you'll see something you've never seen before. We're still finding pleasant surprises."
Assistant Principal Wyatt O'Neil also said the school's cooling tower had been fixed, so the school's air conditioning in now fully functional.
The school is also waiting for board approval of two new teaching positions, including a half-time math teacher and a new band director, with hopes to increase student participation in the band.
"We're looking forward to coming back," Cain said. "We're ready to kick off an exciting year, and we thank the community for their support."