Choctaw County, Miss. Monday was the first day of school for Choctaw County Schools, including the high school that was severely damaged by fire six months ago.
While students are in class in the east wing, demolition crews are in the process of tearing down and clearing the damaged property to be ready for new construction.
Superintendent Sue Moore says the community came together after that fire with one goal of getting things back to normal.
"That same community spirit has gone on for the last six months," Moore said. "Everybody is anxiously anticipating having the school rebuilt and having it back whole. So any time I ask anybody for any help or assistance, it's always there."
Principal Stacey Gill says the faculty and staff have made it possible to meet the students' needs without having use of the entire building.
"Our teachers have given their commitment to excellence in academics, athletics and leadership here at CCHS," said high school principal, Stacey Gill. "It is our mission to provide and guide our students to become a career-ready students for a productive and global society."
The demolition is scheduled to be finished by Sept. 4, with completion of the new facilities in six to eight months.
Choctaw County Elementary School principal, Wayne Longmire, says he wants to make sure the needs of every student are met this year. And he says intervention is available for those who may struggle with classes as time goes on. He said there was an air of excitement for this first day of school.
"We're looking forward to a very good school year," said Longmire. "And we would like to invite our parents to come and play their part to get involved in education. And just like to invite the public to come by and volunteer their time."
Choctaw County Elementary has 535 students enrolled this year.