First day of school for SCCPSS runs smoothly - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

First day of school for SCCPSS runs smoothly

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Thursday was the first day back to class for public schools in Effingham and Chatham counties. Many students were excited and maybe a little nervous, but there were plenty of teachers and staff waiting to welcome them. 

New SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett made the rounds at nine schools to welcome students back for the new year. Her first visit was to Hubert Middle, where her career as a teacher actually began.

We made some rounds of our own Thursday morning, visiting some of the schools. We visited Haven Elementary, where we caught up with Dr. Levett, during her last stop. We asked her what message she wants to send to parents and students.

"It's important for students to be present and on time for them to take full advantage of all that we offer. We cannot do the job without the support of the parents and the community. We're excited about all the new initiatives we have for the year, and we want students and parents to take full advantage of those things," she said. 

Dr. Levett made a different stop every 45 minutes, speaking with teachers, staff, and even students about the upcoming school year, including what she expects as well as what parents and students can expect from her. She says it's important for executive staff to be transparent for those working in the schools on a daily basis, and to thank those that make each school day run smoothly, but most importantly, Dr. Levett's tour was about exposure - showing the young students who represents them. 

"I am the product of the local school so it was helpful to me to see someone who grew up in their environment who has become the superintendent, so they know I'm a real person and not just someone on TV or that they might get a notice from," Dr. Levett said. 

We also stopped by Sarah Mills Hodge Elementary. The school is about three years old and is part of the Choice Program for Medical Allied Health, which helps prepare students at an early age for careers in the medical field. 

Hodge Elementary kicked off the day with their walking school bus, which is simply a line of volunteers who took the time out to walk kids to school. This year, the principal says the theme is 'getting wild about learning,' so in other words, keeping the students excited all year long about coming to school. 

"We have different pieces of that throughout the building as it relates to positive behaviors, and when focusing on behavior, we can work more on academic achievement, so what we're doing and embracing throughout the building is that learning is an adventure and we're wild about learning, so we can build that excitement in our students," said Dr. Yvette Wells, Principal, Hodge Elementary School. 

The day ran smoothly for the most part, but school officials did talk to us about what they found most challenging. 

"Just assisting students, making sure they find the right classrooms. Some new students are new to school period - weaning them away from their parents, letting them know they're in a safe environment," said Principal Wells. 

"The children have been home for the summer, so sometimes it's about getting them back and accustomed to a regular schedule and school," said Dr. Levett. 

One thing we continue to stress here at WTOC is to make sure you stay updated on the district's website, as all the latest information including bus routes will be posted online. You can find it here

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