By: Erin Lisch | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 14, 2017
MONTICELLO, Fla. (WCTV) — A historic first day of school in Jefferson County was considered a success by students and staff.
Jefferson County is the first school district in the state to go all-charter, with Somerset Academy taking the reins. Many have already noticed changes.
Students are required to wear uniforms, including a colored polo shirt that differentiates the grades at the school. Many students were excited about their new threads.
Sixth grader Javia said, “I really do like it, it’s a good color.”
9-year-old Wayne agreed, “It makes me look good!”
11th grader Mya added, “We don’t have to worry about who has on this, who has on that, who’s wearing what better than the other person. We’re equally fair.”
The district had experienced failing grades in the past, which led to the change to a charter system.
On the first day of school, the principal believes big things are on the horizon.
Jefferson County K-12 Principal Cory Oliver said, “High graduation rates, high test scores. But beyond that, they’ll have a staff that truly cares about their kids.”
Oliver said about 50 percent of the staff is new and that many of the 805 students are already noticing a difference.
Excited about the teachers, Walter said, “They really answer questions and help me more.”
“I feel comfortable being here now because we have staff that’s willing to help us out and make the school better,” said Mya.
Students said they’re striving to convert the D-graded district to an A.
10th grader Jamiya said, “You have to focus and pay attention and do the work.”
“I think it’s going to be a great school year and all the grades are going to improve,” added Javia.
Many students left Jefferson because of the failing district, but Principal Oliver hopes to bring students back and grow enrollment by at least 200.