Time for Desoto County students to ‘hit the books’ again

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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Summer is over for students in DeSoto County schools.

Classes for the 2017-2018 school year will begin bright and early Thursday morning.

But teachers and administrators are spending every moment until the bells ring getting classrooms ready for what they hope will be an exciting year.

It's the calm before the bell for Horn Lake High School teacher Lauren Allen.

She spent Wednesday putting the finishing touches on her 11th- and 12th-grade English classroom.

"I'm excited. I'm nervous. I mean everybody's nervous on the first day of school. As many times as you do it you're still nervous," said Allen.

It's an exciting time for Arrica Jefferson as well.

"I'm just ready for them to...start."

Wednesday afternoon she completed her daughter's enrollment at Horn Lake High School and is ready for DeSoto County Schools to do their thing.

"Absolutely! They give them the best teaching, the best discipline. Hey, I'm loving it...I love it, said Arrica Jefferson.

Superintendent Cory Uselton spent Wednesday visiting teachers and administrators in several DeSoto County schools.

"I'm excited to see what our teachers will accomplish this year," said Uselton.

He's says Desoto County Schools will be offering more dual-enrollment classes for high school juniors and seniors this year, giving them access to college classes so graduating seniors can have some college credits under their belt.

"We're offering online classes. We're hiring adjunct professors to offer some of these classes. We're trying to think outside the box," said Uselton.

He estimates around 33, 600 students will attend this year, based on last year's numbers.

To meet DeSoto County's growth, the district built 12 new classrooms: four at Southaven Elementary, four at Lewisburg Primary and four at Lewisburg Elementary.

"Even though our enrollment is about the same, we have certain areas that are growing rapidly. So we've got to make sure and be proactive and keep up with that growth," said Uselton.

Uselton asks parents to be patient during the first few days of school while dropping off students and picking them up.

He also says parents should expect some buses to be running a little late as drivers adjust to new schedules.