The smell of new backpacks and the sound of footsteps will once again fill Richmond County Schools’ halls today as doors open for the first day of school.
During the summer, while the children are away, the adults play with new ideas of how to strengthen the curriculum, boost confidence and elevate children’s self-image. They know they are nurturing the future. Richmond County teachers say they are constantly striving for new ways to “touch tomorrow, today.”
With school starting, remember to watch for children crossing roads and waiting for buses. Traffic between 7-8 a.m. and around 3 p.m. will pick up, so be sure to take a detour if you are in a hurry. If you are dropping kids off at school, be aware of changes, and watch out for first-timers, school officials advise.
“Each school has a traffic pattern that parents and students will follow as they arrive,” said Ashley Simmons, Public Information Officer for the district. “Many parents bring their children to school on the first day, so there may be additional cars in the car-rider lines.
“Opening and starting times for each of the schools remained the same, but each school may have adjusted their individual schedules,” she said. “Parents and students received this information during their open houses at each school. Students who are bus riders should have also received their bus assignments at open houses, and the buses will pick them up at their stops during designated times. Of course, drivers can can expect to experience some delays, as buses make stops throughout the morning.”
The new school year will be similar to last year, but a few changes will take place, in the classroom and across Richmond County Schools.
“We have been reminding parents and students about the changes in the uniform policy that go into effect this year,” said Simmons. “All students, no matter what school they attend, may wear black, khaki, and navy bottoms. They may also wear black or white shirts. Other shirts must be in the school’s colors. A list of school colors is available on our district website.”
Parents will begin to hear about the Common Core and Essential Standards; new standards that will be taught beginning this year, and will be tested for the first time in the 2012-2013 school year. “Teacher leaders from all across our school district have been working to prepare all educators in our school system for this transition. We have five days built into our school calendar on that will serve as staff development days, during which all educators will be working on these new standards,” said Simmons.
“We’re always excited about starting a new school year. Administrators, faculty and staff at all of our schools are looking forward to welcoming our students back today,” Superintendent Dr. George Norris said. “We will also have Board of Education members and Central Services staff members at each school to greet students and parents.”
Sherry Tetreault and her daughter Adison, 10, prepared for the first day of school over the summer.
“She attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics over the summer,” said Tetreault. “I’m encouraged by it. She has seen me graduate with my bachelors and now I’m working on my masters to become a counselor for the mentally ill.”
“I’m very excited,” said Adison about the first day of school. “I’m going into the fifth grade. I’m ready for science — it’s my favorite subject. I get A’s and B’s in it. I like doing experiments. I’m also excited about seeing my friends.”
Tetreault is looking forward to using her new supplies, including a new backpack and pink and black shoes. She got a head start by attending the open house at L.J. Bell Elementary School where she met her teachers and got to see her new classroom.
— Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ex. 43, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.