BLACKFOOT — School is back in session in Blackfoot, and Superintendent Chad Struhs said classes got off to a great start this week.
“It’s the smoothest it has gone in years,” he said.
He thinks waiting until after Labor Day to start classes and organizing a back-to-school night to give students and their parents a chance to meet teachers and administrators helped.
The schools also had early release on Tuesday and Wednesday to give teachers an opportunity to do some planning and give kids a chance to attend the Eastern Idaho State Fair without missing classes, Struhs said.
“(We try to) balance it all out,” he said.
Blackfoot High School principal John Pearce said they also held a freshman orientation day on Tuesday.
“It’s an opportunity to be on campus with just the ninth graders,” Pearce said, adding that they have more than 300 freshmen this year.
The event, which the student body and class officers help organize, helps the freshmen learn more about the school and, hopefully, get excited about the new year, Pearce said.
The rest of the high school students showed up to school on Wednesday, and Pearce said the day went well.
Although there aren’t many changes at the high school this year, Pearce said he plans to take a close look at the school’s programs in the future to see what can be improved or added. He also wants to get feedback from parents and staff.
“Program evaluation is smart,” he said, adding that it’s important to ask questions and not just assume that they are already doing everything the right way.
Struhs said there aren’t many changes in the district either this year; however, they have reassigned principals at the middle school and elementary schools.
“(We looked at our principals’) strengths and weaknesses and the needs for each building and we placed them where they can help build up each school,” Struhs said, adding that the changes are working out well so far. “We’re excited about that.”
Struhs said the only challenge he’s anticipating for the district at this point is financial. He said they will likely have to revise the budget in the future to cut expenses where they can.
“(Things will be) financially tight this year,” he said.
Still, he doesn’t anticipate that they will have to cut any programs.
Despite the financial challenges, Struhs said he’s looking forward to the school year and the chance to provide a quality education that will help students perform at their best level.
“I’m excited to have the kids back,” he said.