Major changes are happening at Northview High School in Dothan. Students have returned from Christmas break to find a food court-style cafeteria and new learning opportunities.
One of the changes students are seeing is a new distance learning computer lab. It allows students to take courses that couldn't otherwise be offered at Northview.
Northview High School Principal Ron Snell said, "the beauty of access is that it meets the needs of a range of students."
Access is a distance learning program where teachers in other cities teach students via the internet. The program has allowed Northview to expand its course offerings.
Northview High Senior Katie Crawford said, "It’s a great program. I'm a senior and this is my first time using access and it's allowed me to take extra advanced placement courses and a lot of kids are really enjoying it."
Not only is Northview expanding their learning opportunities, but they're also making lunch time more enjoyable for students.
Northview High Senior Peter Tereszkiewicz said, "It looks more like a food court and we have more choices and its cleaner and a fresher look, not so much an institution."
The lunch room renovations not only make lunch more exciting, but also will help the schools bottom line.
A similar lunch program has already been successful at one school in Georgia.
Child nutrition program director for Dothan City Schools Tonya Grier said, "In other systems, they increased participation by 12-25 percent and we are hoping those numbers are going to show up here with increased participation."
The money generated from the new school lunch program will help maintain the jobs of current cafeteria workers.
The new food selections still meet state health guidelines which now require schools to offer only healthy foods. Students get to choose from food varieties like Italian, Mexican, deli wraps, and salads.
Members of the board of education were at today's ribbon cutting and say if the new food court-style cafeteria does well at Northview, they plan to implement a similar program at Dothan High in the near future.