By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 8, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- School bells are ringing as Valdosta City Schools kicks off its first day of class.
"I'm kind of nervous, but at the same time, excited," said Travis Scott, a fourth grader at J. L. Lomax.
The first day of school always has its challenges, but this year, deciding what to wear won't be one of them. Valdosta City Schools has implemented uniforms in all elementary schools across the district.
"It'd be easier because you don't have to look through all your clothes and decide, you can just pick out an outfit," said Trinity Brinson, a fifth grader at J. L. Lomax.
Some students have mixed feelings about the new digs.
"I don't like them, but it could have been worse," Scott said. "I could have had to worn a full down dress up for church."
Other students are on board with the changes.
"I like them now kind of because I get to wear accessories with it," Brinson said.
The district said the uniforms are meant to create a sense of community and cut down on inappropriate behavior.
Whatever the wear, some students are eager to be back in the classroom.
"A good year this year, and having all A's on my report card," Scott said.
Elementary students weren't the only ones with a few changes. Valdosta High School students spent their first day back getting ready to learn in a brand new 400,000 square foot building.
The high school is seven years in the making and cost $85 million. As big as it may seem from the outside, it's creating even bigger opportunities for the students that walk the hallways. The new campus is making new courses accessible to students.
In a partnership with Wiregrass, college classes are now being offered right on campus. As part of the Career, Technical, Agricultural, Education (CTAE) programs, students get an early taste at what could be a life long career.
One program is cosmetology, where students get hands-on experience working with real salon equipment. Assistant Dean Kristy Henderson said having these courses on campus makes it easier for students to fit them in their schedules.
"That way they can see if this is really something they want to do," Henderson said. "They take four classes with us, so they get a shampoo tech TCC, or certificate. They can kind of get their feet wet in the field, so to say, and see if they are really interested in the field."
There are 11 CTAE offereings at Valdosta High School open to all students, ranging from welding and construction and landscaping, to Emergency Medical Responder, Culinary Arts and Early Childhood.