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School year begins in Cape

By Staff | Aug 14, 2019

Schools opened Monday for more than 95,000 children in Lee County.

For the most part, things ran pretty smoothly, except for a minor bus accident and congestion caused by construction in the East Zone.

At Trafalgar Elementary School, the kids were welcomed back by teachers and administrators, following a great year in 2018-19 that saw the school gain two letter grades, quite an accomplishment for any school.

That improvement got the attention of Greg Adkins, Lee County Superintendent of Schools, who on Monday morning made it a point to take a tour of the school along with Trafalgar’s newest arrivals, the kindergartners.

Lisa Murphy, principal of the school, said things went perfectly on the first day, with the hopes of continuing with the excellence they provided last year.

“We’re very excited to start the school year and very proud that we went from a ‘C’ to an ‘A,’ the only school in the district to go up two grades,” Murphy said. “We’ve had lots of celebration surrounding the accomplishment.”

Michele Stanford, assistant principal, came to Trafalgar from Fort Myers High School, but said she didn’t worry about the maturity change.

“Everything about it is awesome. I’m going from one ‘A’ school to another. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a learning opportunity. I was at elementary schools for 15 years, so now I feel like I’m back home,” Stanford said.

Adkins’ district tour made a stop at Trafalgar, along with other district officials and the media. For Adkins, like everyone else, it was an exciting day, albeit a long one that started at 5:30 a.m. at the Buckingham bus depot.

“The school jumped up two letter grades which doesn’t happen often. It’s usually one grade if they make any gains at all,” Adkins said. “Everyone seems to be upbeat and positive and a lot of smiling faces. People are excited to be back to work.”

Lee County was the largest school district in the state to not have any schools receive a D or an F grade.

Adkins congratulated the Trafalgar staff over the school intercom for their accomplishment, and was then led on a tour of the school by kindergarten teacher Jane Perry, who gave her new students the lay of the land.

Once they got to the cafeteria, Adkins made his exit, headed for his next destination, Cape Coral High School.

“The kindergartners are very excited to be here on their first day of school and learning about their school,” Murphy said.