At Lafayette High School, the halls were mostly empty around 8 a.m., which Principal Chris Early said is a good sign.
“That means kids are getting where they need to be,” Early said. “This is actually really promising because usually on the first day you’ll see kids everywhere and it’s not because they’re skipping or anything on the first day it’s just there’s a little confusion, there might be a mistake on their schedule, so when I walk in the hall like this and see that it’s empty I’m thinking, ‘We’re doing great. We’re firing on all cylinders this morning.’”
This is Early’s first school year as Lafayette’s principal. Early had been serving as Lafayette’s assistant principal since 2013. He replaced Dr. Tyran Sumy who announced her retirement earlier this year after more than 20 years with the district.
Early said one of the changes this year is their attendance policy which is an effort to raise attendance.
“The gist of it… is that basically if you miss more than eight class periods, and this is outlined in the handbook, you don’t get credit for that class,” Early said. “We’re trying to teach kids accountability and I support the attendance initiative because my biggest concern is that we send kids out into the real world… I think sometimes we send these bright, academically prepared kids, but they don’t understand you’ve got to show up… So we’re trying to just instill good habits in them from the get go.”
Early said he’s excited for this school year, especially since it’s Lafayette’s 100th year. Celebrations are planned throughout the year including a parade in the middle of the year and an all-school project.
“(There’s) a lot to celebrate, a lot of involvement with our community and our alumni,” Early said. “It’s going to be a really fun year.”