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The 2021-22 School Year in Underway!
Laine Williams

Altamont students started this school year with new faces and updated spaces. This year, the school welcomed 83 new students in grades 5-12 from 39 different schools, 26 ZIP codes and 5 states, bringing our total enrollment to 360. Altamont's largest grades are 11th grade and 8th grade with 55 students each. Our middle school also experienced significant growth with 21 new 5th graders, 13 new 6th graders, and 15 new 7th graders.

In addition to new students, Altamont has 13 new faculty and staff members: Tom Bendel—interim head of school; Joni Wiley—geography; Yan Tong—Mandarin; Heather Kaiser—Spanish; Maggie Hill—biology; Beth Dille—director of the Miree Center; Reid Watson—theatre; Ann Trondson—photography; Archie Johnson—basketball coach and PE; Bettie Fletcher—assistant finance director; Jim Sydnor—debate; Richard Ford—assistant athletics director; and Patrick Grant—chemistry substitute.

This summer, various areas were improved to better serve students. First, the Rotunda (library) received a new, more versatile flooring over the summer. Instead of carpet, the area now has luxury vinyl tile (LVT), a material that is easier to clean and maintain. The Rotunda is used for a variety of purposes including a classroom, lunch area, meeting space, study hall and library.

Second, a sunshade was added to the Palmer Reading Garden, making that area more comfortable during the Alabama heat. This area is used for outdoor classrooms, lunchtime seating and special events throughout the year.

Third, the outdoor staircase from the student parking lot to the Palmer Reading Garden has been updated with brand new railroad ties. Finally, new lounge seating is coming in September for the Knights Den, the 5th-6th grade space.

Altamont is continuing to adhere to COVID-19 health and wellness protocols including masks, social distancing and thorough cleaning processes. While we had hoped these protocols would not be necessary during the 2021-22 school year, we are confident in our ability to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff and parents. To learn more about Altamont's Back to School COVID-19 plan, go to

We are looking forward to an exciting new school year! Go Knights!

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