SALLISAW, Okla. — School is back in session for parts of Oklahoma with students ready to get the year going.
“I’m really excited. Especially for academics this year, that’s like my thing,” said high school senior Sadie Caujhman.
Sadie Caujhman is a senior at Sallisaw High School and can’t believe her time as a Black Diamond has gone by so fast.
“I never thought I’d be here. Be where I want to be. I’m ready for the next chapter,” she said.
For Jill Henry walking into the next chapter as a high schooler was a little intimidating. “I was kind of like, 'where are my friends?'”
But Jill was not alone, because even the upperclassmen like Abigail Thomason still got the first day jitters.
“Nervous about who was going to be in my classes and who wasn’t,” said Thomason.
Senior Garrett Morgan said he’s most excited about starting the school year on a normal note. And while COVID was hard, it did teach him a valuable life lesson.
“Sometimes life throws stuff at you and you just have to persevere and keep going,” said Morgan.
Which is exactly why many schools are not only focusing on the health of their students but also on safety.
Sallisaw High School Principal Russell Tillery said while the Oklahoma legislature is working on a safety commission similar to Arkansas’s, they’re doing what they can to make sure their students are safe.
“Secure entrances. We have a great relationship with our police department that’s been doing training throughout our district over the summer and I was able to observe some of that," Tillery said. "They are very professional and it was very impressive to watch the caliber of their intensity and their focus on what they’re trying to do in their training."
Around 600 students started at Sallisaw High School and the district's bus routes are completely taken care of with enough drivers.
Muldrow, Poteau, Pocola, Panama and Arkoma are among Oklahoma districts that also started back on Aug. 11.