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Schools open Friday

August 8, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , North Fort Myers Neighbor

With the first day of the new school year set for Friday, teachers are getting their classrooms ready and students are gearing up.

At North Fort Myers High School, incoming freshmen held a camp last week that included picking up their Chromebooks, tours of the school, a scavenger hunt and a mock pep rally.

On Tuesday, all students and parents were invited to meet teachers and pick up their books and schedules, sign up for sports and clubs and other things.

Debbie Diggs, principal at North, said she has been very excited going into her third year there, making her the longest-serving principal at the school since Kimberly Lunger left in 2012.

"Only the seniors have known another principal, so the rest don't know the difference of change," Diggs said. "From the teacher perspective, they say they're happy I'm here and they have the stability and the clear direction and practices and a unified focus."

The stability has paid dividends. Although the school slipped out of the top 5 percent in U.S. News and World Report rankings, the school returned to "A" status for the first time in three years.

Most of the graduating seniors earned at least a 3.0 GPA, the JROTC Raiders program won another national championship, and the school has also maintained its excellence in the arts and on the athletic field, with several teams having deep runs in the state playoffs.

For the 447 freshmen coming in (more than 1,900 students overall), Diggs said the idea is to get them comfortable with the campus and to give them an opportunity to get their bearings before school begins.

"We had the teachers and students in here to help and it was a real good event we had for them," Diggs said. "We had a celebration Friday for our school grade. There was a lot of work and effort that came with it so we're just going to take time to celebrate and welcome in new staff members."

On the first day, the school will have a skinny schedule, with students going to all eight of their classes to get an idea of what will happen once classes get into full motion. Students will start their odd-even period schedules next Monday.

For this school year, the goal is to maintain their A.

Diggs has delved into the data to see where the school can continue to grow and raise the bar on expectations.

She also said that while there are always small areas they can work on, there are no troublesome weaknesses.

"We'll be looking to make some gains in some areas. Day-to-day, we have pretty much the same thing. It's just making sure that we continue to have competitive programs in the arts, academics and athletics," Diggs said. "We need to make sure we're maximizing the potential of the students and helping them achieve what they want and have fun while they're at it."

 
 

 

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