Birmingham schools start another year

Monday morning came all too soon for families across the area.

Just a couple of weeks ago it seemed doubtful Birmingham City Schools could begin on time. But, teachers and schools were ready when students walked in this morning.

Birmingham superintendent, Dr. Craig Witherspoon continued his tradition of making the rounds of several schools in the Birmingham system.

"What we're hoping to do is work with everyone to try and stem that loss of student population that has been occurring through a number of years," says Witherspoon. "We want to make sure our students are in class, they're learning and that they're the beneficiaries of what we do as a school system."

This year, the system put an emphasis on its "Ready, Day One" campaign.

In years past, at least 50% of Birmingham city school students weren't registered until after Labor Day. "Teaching and learning, as we see today begins on day one, so come on in. We do have to work with our community to get that word out and say 'let's not wait until after Labor Day', let's go ahead and get started," said Witherspoon.Witherspoon hopes to see higher attendance numbers sooner, rather than later this school year.

Despite a turbulent summer at the central office, Dr. Witherspoon says his objective hasn't changed."I see brighter days ahead for Birmingham City schools," said Witherspoon. "My focus is certainly going to be on, what we do for our students in the school system. (Students) are critical, they're why we exist and the more we can stay focused on that I think the better off we will be as a school system."