TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - At Lee County Schools' district-wide orientation session, it's like the first day of class for the teachers and other school staff members.
Educators we talked to say the kickoff to a new school year is always exciting.
Beth Barnes of Shannon High School said, "The good thing about this year is I taught juniors last year and the students and I already know each other. I think that's going to make this year a little easier for me as to other years."
Louis Southward of Plantersville Middle School said, "For me as a teacher it's just getting back in the classroom, working on things that are important, and getting the students to work hard."
A message from state leaders and a local motivational speaker were part of this session.
Also, administrators and new employees of Lee County Schools were all recognized.
Beyond this day, teachers and staff will be at their individual schools all this week getting ready for students to return.
The superintendent says one of the challenges ahead this school year is continuing to implement the new, tougher Common Core State Standards.
It's a balance between teaching under the current state guidelines and this new set of education standards.
Superintendent Jimmy Weeks said, "We're having to begin instruction in our elementary grades with Common Core. In a couple of years, those students will be tested on Common Core State Standards. It's kind of a two-fold process. We've got to teach both and test one. It's tough but I think we're doing a good job and our kids are doing a good job with it as well."
The first day of classes for Lee County Schools is next Tuesday, August 7th.