ALTO, Texas (KTRE/KLTV) - Students, faculty, and staff returned to Alto Independent School District campuses for the first day of school on Monday. It was the first time many students returned to their respective campuses since a tornado damaged the high school building on April 13.
The theme for the high school is “Challenge Accepted,” which is appropriate considering much of the high school building is still closed while repairs are being completed. Students and teachers are working out of portable buildings during that time.
“It’s (the school year) still going to be awesome, but it’s just gonna be really different not being in an actual high school,” said high school senior Garrett Duplichain.
The cafeteria has reopened, the band hall is once again ringing with the band’s selections for the marching season, and the math wing - a detached segment of the school - is up and running to serve students.
Students will have to trek from the portable buildings to the other end of campus, rain or shine.
“We requested all students purchase a raincoat, rain boots, and also an umbrella,” said Shanequa Redd-Dorsey, a principal at Alto High School.
That’s all they’ll have to buy. All other supplies are furnished thanks to generous donations from the Alto community.
“The expectations will stay in place because we do want to make sure our students are getting to class,” Redd-Dorse said. “So, we’re going to keep the same expectations in place as for the transitional periods. But, our teachers are aware of the situation, and with that, we’re just going to use our discretion as far as our kids getting back and forth to class."
“Considering this is the first day of school, the students have high energy; it’s just the familiar faces, coming back and having the same administration in place and their teachers,” Redd-Dorsey said. “That is definitely going to decrease the stress level of all the students. But for the most part, considering it’s the first day of school ... it seems like they’re ready to go.”
Alto High School’s band director said despite the unusual beginning to the school year, there’s one constant in Alto: high school football. Once the season kicks off Aug. 30, the “flow” of the town should return to normal, he said.