BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Before the first day of school on August 14, Birmingham Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon rallied educators and support staff to gear up for a new year.
More than 2,000 employees joined Witherspoon at Fair Park Arena.
"This is a time to bring everybody together. We had a lot to celebrate. We had a lot to speak about," Witherspoon said.
Witherspoon said there was a 10-point increase in the graduation rate and an eight point decrease in the dropout rate.
The principal at Hemphill Elementary, Tavis Hardin-Sloan, said it was wise to rally the troops so to speak this year.
"We've not had one in four years and so the administration felt like it was time to get us all back together and we had some changes and we needed to get everybody on board for a great school year," Hardin-Sloan said.
Educators say it's very important to provide quality instruction and make sure students enjoy coming to school.
The system is starting the year with a lot of internal changes. There are 11 new principal assignments and the Bush Middle School students will be using the former Center Street Elementary School while their campus is renovated.