Math teacher Michelle Bass, of Wilson Academy of Applied Technology, challenges new students on the first day of school Monday. Photo taken Aug. 7, 2017. Drew C. Wilson | Times
By Drew C. Wilson
Times Staff Writer
Monday was all about setting expectations at the Wilson Academy of Applied Technology.
WAAT was among the first schools to open for the 2017-18 school year following the summer break in Wilson County.
“Every student had different workshops that they signed up for for day one,” said Krystal Cox, principal at the school. “In these workshops, they are learning about organizational skills, time management. They are doing some get-to-know-you activities because students are coming from different schools in the district, so we want our freshman students to get to know each other.”
WAAT is in its second year and has 95 students enrolled.
“Our theme for the school year is ‘Unlock Your Future’ and we have some key principles in place for them to do that we will be talking about as a means of success throughout the year,” Cox said. “At the end of the year, we want students to feel more secure in their decision of which pathway they want to choose.”
Those pathways include biotechnology, information technology, applied engineering technology and the associate in science degree.
“We want our sophomore students also to get an understanding of the next phase, which will be to start college classes,” Cox said. “That will be a challenge, but it is part of what they are here to do.”
Freshman students are starting their tenure by getting to know what WAAT is all about. Tenth-grade students are learning about the college placement tests.
“I hope that every student finds success here and that all of them are able to pass their state assessments but also get an idea of where they see themselves in the future,” Cox said.
The school has increased from four teachers to seven and has had a few major renovations during the summer.
“One of the major projects was we took two classrooms and made them into one large space because after having the students participate in the different projects, we realized that we really needed a bigger space to make sure students had those authentic experiences,” Cox said. “That was probably one of the bigger projects we had over the summer, taking down that wall and being able to spread things out so it is more user-friendly to our students.”
Other schools opening on Monday included the Wilson Early College Academy with 348 students and Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education with 950 children enrolled.