HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - The vibe inside Hoover's Bumpus Middle School is a little different this year.
For the past seven years, only seventh and eighth graders were housed at the building. But this year, more than 300 sixth graders have joined them as part of the new Hoover rezoning plan. And the seventh graders are new to the building, too.
"The first day went very well," says principal Dr. Tamala Maddox. "Of course, we had car pool challenges, bus challenges, because it's the first day of school. But we've already made adjustments. Transportation has made adjustments."
Maddox says with 1,025 students registered, they're still not at capacity yet. The new sixth graders are all housed on the third floor - a floor that had not been used before. And while some told WBRC there weren't enough desks on the first day of school, Maddox refutes that.
"We actually have an abundance of desks in the building. We have a classroom full of desks right now. That classroom is not being used, so any time a teacher needed a desk and let us know, we were able to provide that desk," she says.
On scale of one to 10, 10 being great, Maddox rates the first day as a nine.
She realizes that's not perfect but adds that they are tweaking and changing things by the hour. She says input from teachers is the biggest way they figure out what to tweak.
"On some things we just say, 'You tell us what's going to be the best route for you to take. I want you to look at this as you move and now you tell us what's the best route,'" she explains. "So they're responding to us saying, 'This didn't work yesterday. Can we try it this way tomorrow?' And we've implemented those things today."