HOLMES COUNTY – The first day of school usually has some setbacks as students and faculty come together for the first time since the beginning of summer. This year however, was different. There was smooth sailing all around the county according to each principal in the districts six schools.

Bonifay K-8 Principal Rodd Jones said he was pleased with the way the first day went at the school. With last year being the first year in the new school, Jones said this year feels different.

"This year we get to ride the bike after it's put together,Rather than riding it while it is being put together" said Jones, referring to the total construction of his school. 

Ponce de Leon Elementary Principal Anissa Locke said this has been the easiest start yet.

"I’ve been here for six years," sais Locke. "This is the smoothest start to a school year thus far."

While all principal’s report a smooth start to the year, a couple are implementing new programs at their schools.

Roseanne Mitchell at Bethlehem School said the theme for this school year is, ‘See the positive, Be the positive’, a program she wants every staff member to live by.

"While we are securing the schools outside," said Mitchell. "We want to make our students feel safe and secure on the inside as well. When a child feels safe the real learning can begin."

Holmes County High School’s Matt Tate introduced a new learning program called PRIDE (Promoting Responsibility through Intervention Discipline and Engagement) which targets specific areas students need extra help on to raise test scores. Tate said he is excited for the year ahead.

"I am very excited for the year ahead," said Tate. "This is going to be a positive year."

Superintendant Terry Mears said the year is off to a great start.

"The first day was a great start to this year," said Mears. "I am excited to see the motivation from students and faculty. Our district employees were at every school making sure that everyone’s needs were met and to help in any way they could."