“The first week of school is an exciting time for everyone,” said Richmond County Schools Public Information Officer Ashley Simmons. “Our principals and school staffs do an amazing job of preparing students and parents for the first day of school, especially during their open house and orientation events. We look forward to welcoming nearly 7,600 students across our district on Wednesday.”
In addition to the opening of East Rockingham Elementary, the dismissal times of many elementary schools has changed for 2010-11. Traffic patterns also have been altered due to school rules at Rockingham Middle and the U.S. 1 expansion in front of Richmond Senior High School.
The opening of East Rockingham School means Cordova Elementary and Rohanen Primary are no longer needed as elementary schools. Roberdel Children’s Center was also closed to avoid the expense of future renovations.
As Cordova and Rohanen students move to the new K-5 building, Roberdel students will now move to Cordova, while Rohanen will be used as a maintenance facility.
East Rockingham Elementary
School will start at 8:15 a.m. at East Rockingham, but students will be allowed in the building 30 minutes prior at 7:45 a.m. Students will be dismissed at 3 p.m.
Simmons explained a turn lane was added to Chalk Road in front of the school for the safety of motorists transporting students.
East Rockingham will have one lane of traffic for car riders, with five cars unloading at one time.
Parents can follow the signs and arrows as they enter the driveway of the school, and buses will enter through the back entrance and unload there.
Richmond Senior High School
U.S. 1 now has four lanes in front of Richmond Senior, which means students turning onto Raider Boulevard from the southbound lanes will have to be aware of oncoming traffic.
There is a turn lane on southbound U.S. 1 where the left turn into the high school is located.
The school board has requested a stoplight be added to the intersection of U.S. 1 and Raider Boulevard.
Rockingham Middle School
Rockingham Middle will adopt a new traffic pattern in the afternoons to better track which students are being picked up and who is picking them up.
Principal Pam Patterson explained a letter is being sent out with students’ schedules and distributed at the open house explaining the new rules.
“It is to ensure safety,” Patterson said. “When we send our students out to Ann Street to be picked up, we can’t determine who our walkers are and who our car riders are. We want our car riders to be picked up on campus so we can know who’s riding and who’s walking.”
Following afternoon dismissal, students who will be picked up will wait in the breezeway between the school’s main building and gym until the buses leave, then cars picking up students will be allowed on campus to pick them up.
Students who walk home won’t be dismissed until the car riders leave, and will be directed to Wall Street, where loitering will be prohibited.
The morning traffic pattern will stay the same with students being dropped off at the intersection of Wall and Ann Streets, but the school is encouraging students not to arrive until breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria.
The school won’t open until 7:45 a.m., but students will be allowed in the auditorium at 7:30 a.m.
Several schools in the system changed their instructional schedules for the 2010-11 school year. Here are the school schedules:
Cordova School - 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Richmond Early College High - 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
East Rockingham Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ellerbe Middle - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fairview Heights Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hamlet Middle - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
L.J. Bell Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Leak Street High - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for night classes.
Mineral Springs Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monroe Avenue Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Richmond Ninth Grade Academy - 8:03 a.m. 2:48 p.m.
Richmond Senior High - 8 a.m. to 3:02 p.m.
Richmond County Transitional - 8:20 a.m. to 2:34 p.m.
Rockingham Middle - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rohanen Middle - from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Washington Street Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
West Rockingham Elementary - 8:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at email@example.com.