Friday was the first day of school in Monroe County, and also the first time students attended classes under a program to consolidate middle school into 2 buildings, one for 6th grade and another for 7th and 8th grade.
Superintendent Anthony Pack says the move allows the school to have better curriculum and learning opportunities for students, and also keep them together.
Principal John Johnston says in many school districts, high school students often don't meet before 9th grade, having gone to separate middle schools. So in a smaller county like Monroe, it helps having all same-age students in the county stick together through their education.
Monroe County school leaders say they begin classes on Friday in order to allows students to ease into their routines, and give teachers and staff time to fix last minute issues over the weekend before hitting the ground running on Monday.