Evans County Students Back at School

It may only be July, but believe it or not, busses are already rolling and bells are ringing at some schools. While several open Monday and Tuesday of next week, one community was back at the books today. WTOC spent the morning in Evans County to see how things are going this time of year.

The school year may only be a few hours old, but first grader Cal DeLoach talks like an old pro. "We do more work than kindergarten and we...we can do different stuff in first grade and we do harder work," he told us.

Hundreds of Evans County students made the journey back to school today. The first day of first grade at Claxton Elementary included a talk about the rules and what they'll see and do during the year.

"I had a dad stay with me 15 minutes," teacher Delores Owens said. "Walking out the door, I ask is dad okay? Kids were fine."

They're safe in the hands of principal Angelia Jones, who's been there 35 years. "You make them feel special when you tell them you taught their mother or their daddy or you know their brother or sister," she said.

There are new faces. Jones says having six male teachers at her school provides role models for the boys. However, everyone is still looking at the calendar. While it's hard to believe the first day of school can come in the end of July, students and teachers will have breaks the traditional calendar doesn't include.

"We have a whole week for Thanksgiving and we have the normal two weeks at Christmas and the breaks for intercession where we do remediation with folks, so it all evens out over the long run," explained superintendent Marion Shaw.

If the kindergarten kids have any questions, Cal and his seasoned classmates will be glad to show them to ropes.

Shaw says the schedule is certainly different from a generation ago when school started after Labor Day. But that was when schools weren't as air conditioned and students worked on family farms until harvest.

May 26 is the last day of class. Starting on Friday lets teachers give out the supply lists so parents can shop over the weekend.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com