Class is in session for Lenoir City students.
"We've got lots of new students," said Superintendent Wayne Miller. "It's interesting to watch them come in, they're all really excited to be here, certainly sad to see summer go."
Miller is not sad to turn the page on the distractions of last school year.
The district made national headlines when an atheist student wrote about her beliefs and was denied publication in the high school's newspaper. That led to the Wisconsin based "Freedom From Religion Foundation's" involvement and challenge to the school board's policy of prayer before meetings.
Then there was the high school yearbook where a gay student described living in the open since the 8th grade.
"We did have some distractions last year certainly, and I'm very proud of how our staff handled that," Miller said.
As a result, the district made a number of changes.
"They've worked in conjunction with our attorney to look through things, policies, to be sure that we can do in fact just that, serve our community and our students," Miller said.
The yearbook adviser now teaches in the middle school. Board meetings will start with a moment of silence rather than prayer.
"It's a difficult and passionate decision that people have to make around that and unfortunately the law gives you most of your direction when it comes to that decision," Miller said.
With the issues addressed, Miller plans to get down to the business at hand.
"We look forward to having as normal a school year as we can this year," he said.