With teachers’ rapping and teambuilding games, Take Two Academy students kicked off the school year.

Students went through a three-day orientation that introduced them to their teachers, and fellow students and set the tone for the school year.

“A lot of kids come from broken homes and broken situations, so we want to put them more at ease,” said Director Lori Bell. “We want to introduce them to social skills and let them know that if left to their own devices they will fail, so they need to adhere to our program.”

Friday, students appeared receptive to starting the school year strong and looked forward to learning from their teachers.

“Teachers treat everybody with respect. Teachers act more like family and treat us like we’re their own,” said freshman Karena Gutierrez.

Freshman Reggie Thrash said he learned how to accept criticism and follow directions.

“Mrs. Buck was blowing up balloons and asked us to help. We did as we were told,” he said. “Take Two will help me get on track.”

He also compared the physical size of the Take Two campus.

“Take Two is not as big a campus as normal schools,” Thrash said. “On a bigger campus, I can’t stay focused on school work. I get easily distracted.”

New opportunities abound for the teenagers. After falling behind in credits as one of thousands of students at a Dallas high school, senior Dillon Lipscomb is finding success at Take Two.

“I’m not use to one-on-one teaching. It will help me a lot,” he said. “The teachers pay more attention here, and orientation helped me meet the teachers and students in other grades.”

The games of orientation helped students realize that they are a team striving to receive an education.

Students had to maneuver through a field of obstacles blindfolded with only the directions of a partner to guide them.

“We did teambuilding. I learned about working together as a group, being nice and following directions,” said junior Geordan Hagle.

Students are ready to hit the books this week as they work together towards a high school diploma.

“We played a lot of games that improved our communications skills and the teachers were fun to work with,” said sophomore John Kirk. “This allowed us to talk to students we normally wouldn’t talk to. I like Take Two because there is a smaller group of people, and teachers give more one-on-one help. It’s like one big family. No one gets excluded.”