LAKELAND -- Despite a one-week delay and never-ending rain, Lanier County Middle School boasted an increase in first-day enrollment.

"We had a great day," said Principal Keith Humphrey. "We had excellent attendance with 347 kids coming to school. It was a tremendous opening day."

He said the first day of the 2004-05 school year was smoother than any before it. The majority of the students, he added, came back to school ready to learn and visit with old friends.

Humphrey said he and his staff will spend the next 180 days focusing on doing everything possible to ensure the school makes adequate yearly progress. During the 2003-04 school year, the school's students with disabilities population had a little trouble on the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.

"We are going to try to improve that," he said.

Humphrey said his overall goal will be to improve the school's academic weaknesses and continue its academic strengths. Overall, he said his staff is very proud of the students' performance last year.

"Our teachers take things personally," he said. "They see beyond the test score. They see the kids they taught. They know the responsibility they have in the classroom."



To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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