Sayre Area School District officials said the first day of classes Tuesday was smooth for students and staff alike.

Elementary principal Michelle Murrelle said students at H. Austin Snyder Elementary School spent Tuesday easing into daily routines and meeting their teachers for the year.

"I think it went very well," Murrelle said.

Staff have coordinated the transportation of the district's youngest students with their families, and kindergarten and Ready 4 students and their families have already participated in an open house, Murrelle said.

"We've tried to really get everyone acclimated," she said.

Murrelle said she has "a great group of teachers striving to meet all of the kids' needs … they're here for the kids." The school welcomed some new teachers and staff members this year, she said.

At Sayre High School, principal Dayton Handrick said the day went "really, really well," with the school day running smoothly.

"We had a very good first day," he said. "It's great to see students back in the building."

A new student pick-up and drop-off procedure went well Tuesday, Handrick said. All pick-ups and drop-offs were moved to the Brock Street parking lot this year. "Parents and students were cooperative," he said.

Another change made this school year, Handrick said, is the way the state will assess high school students. Keystone Exams will replace the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests in the spring, and Handrick mentioned at a recent board of education meeting that students will take their assessments online.

Handrick said students in the seventh and eighth grades will have an opportunity to participate in the ThinkSTEM program to be held beginning in October in the Sheshequin-Ulster Elementary School building. The after-school program is meant to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and will be open to students in the Sayre, Athens, Towanda and Northeast Bradford school districts.

"It's an exciting opportunity for our kids to explore things and learn about some things they otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to," Handrick said.

While exact figures weren't available Tuesday, both Murrelle and Handrick said enrollment at both schools was about equal to last year's numbers.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: