Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, September 4 2012 at 6:32 PM, Updated: Tue, September 4 2012 at 7:05 PM
It's that time of year again kids are heading back to school.
It was the first day for 7th graders, Freshman and elementary kids in the Medford School District.
For eight-year-old Remy, the day was filled with fun...his favorite part?
"Just meeting my new teacher," said Remy Rodriguez.
While the playground may be fun, there's a lot of hard work in store this year.
"The standards are raised," began Julie Evans, Director of Elementary Education for the Medford School District.
"We're expecting our kindergartners and first graders to be able to ready by the end of first grade," she said.
Starting with this year's kindergartners, a new so-called 40-40-20 goal is in place.
"By 2025 we want 40% of our kiddos to [...] go on to a four year college, 40% go on to a community college or trade school and 20% graduate from high school," said Evans.
That means 100% of kids, graduating on time.
For mother Angela Stiles who was enrolling her own kindergartner at Jefferson Elementary Tuesday afternoon, higher standards are a plus.
"I think that's great that they're beginning that influence," said Stiles.
However, it's not just the little ones being held to higher expectations.
"This year's Juniors when they graduate next year, they have to be proficient in math and science [...] to graduate. So that's a whole new layer added on top of the graduate requirements," said Dr. Todd Bloomquist, Directory of Secondary Education for the Medford School District.
He said this year, officials at he high school level hired more teachers to help kids meet the requirements.
But for little ones like Remy, it's still the first day of school. It's a fun time to play with friends, meet new ones, and get ready for a whole new year.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.