Changes come with new school year in Atoka

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ATOKA, Okla. -- As kids in Atoka head back to school Wednesday, newly hired Superintendent Jay McAdams said there are several changes for the district.

McAdams said one of the most talked about new programs this year is the implementation of free lunch and breakfast for all students.

"Our students are going to have an opportunity to, when they're hungy, not have to worry about being hungry," McAdams said. "Because my theory, how can you learn if you're hungry?"

Another change is the introduction of the full-day 3-year-old program.

The program, he said, will help sharpen the social and learning skills of the young kids. Currently, nearly 40 toddlers are enrolled.

In addition, the school day for junior-senior high school has been extended by 20 minutes, from seven period days to eight period days.

McAdams said this allows students to take more electives and technical classes, as well as college level courses.

"This will allow them to get as many credits for the college as possible, so when they leave, what we'd really like to see for our students is having the first of college out of the way," he said.

Other changes include the addition of a fence around the school area to keep kids safe on school property.

In an earlier report, News 12 highlighted staff changes to the district (LINK to the RIGHT or ABOVE on mobile).