LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Ahead of the first day of school, the inaugural class of 6th grade students at the W.E.B. DuBois Academy celebrated with a Tie & Jacket Ceremony on Monday night.
All 157 boys received new blazers and ties, paid for by Los Angeles Laker and former University of Kentucky basketball star, Rajon Rondo.
"It's very humbling for me to be a part of this, and when they put these jackets on I hope they know that I'm always there supporting those guys," Rondo said. "And if they ever need any little encouragement, I put an insert inside their jacket to let those guys know that everything will be okay and to just keep pushing,"
The clothes made a big difference for the kids.
"I've been waiting for this day," student Leslye Harpie said. "It makes me feel proud of myself."
The curriculum at the academy, which is part of Jefferson County Public Schools, will be based on development and leadership.
It's a welcome idea for parents with kids who learn differently than other students.
"He's had a lot of health issues and we felt like him being in a smaller school would be great for him," parent Angela Morgan said. "He's smart as a whip. He's very smart so he's very excited."
DuBois Academy has been in the works for nearly two and a half years.
"We're not happy with our outcomes right now and we're going to do things differently," JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. "And this is one of those that we're doing differently and it's very important."
Pollio will be at the school to welcome kids on their first day on Wednesday morning, Aug. 15.