Beaufort Co. teachers preparing for students; new info on countywide bond referendum

While many schools in our viewing area have gone back to school, those in the Lowcountry are still preparing as they head back next week.

Beaufort Co. teachers preparing for students; new info on countywide bond referendum

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - While many schools in our viewing area have gone back to school, those in the Lowcountry are still preparing as they head back next week.

When kids file in the doors for the first day of school, a number of teachers will do the same. Beaufort County Schools has 80 first-time teachers this year. WTOC caught up with one of them as she put the finishing touches on her classroom.

Emily Pruitt has spent the entire summer since graduation anticipating this classroom. Her first one.

“I’ve been anxious. I’ve been excited. It’s been a little overwhelming, but I’ve had a lot of really good support, so I’m really excited," Pruitt said.

She’s spent weeks perfecting her room 621 at Pritchardville Elementary School, where come Monday, 20 children will be in her second-grade class.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s all come together and you just want to make sure everything is where the kids can get to the materials they need, make sure your classroom runs smoothly, because that takes away a whole lot of the anxiety, for them and for me.”

Pruitt didn’t start out as an educator, but after spending about six months in another field, she went back to school and got a second degree. Now, she feels she has found her calling.

“Last night, we had open house. The large majority of my class came, and I got to meet their parents, got to meet all of them. They’re really excited. I’m really excited, so that was a really good experience."

The biggest lesson she hopes to impart on her class doesn’t come from a lesson plan.

“I so hope that they leave my class just being kind to one and other. That’s really important to me that they’re just kind humans when they move on from here, you know? That’s something that they can say they learned in Ms. Pruitt’s class was, 'I learned how to be a good friend.”

New information has come in on the countywide bond referendum on Nov. 5, which is aimed at improving schools in Beaufort County. Here’s a breakdown of the two questions that Beaufort voters will see on the referendum:

Question one is about $290 million in safety and technology upgrades, infrastructure upgrades, classroom additions at River Ridge Academy and May River High, a replacement building for Robert Smalls International Academy, and renovations at three schools.

Question two is for an additional $54 million in career and technology Education expansions, design work for renovations, improvements to athletic facilities, and playground improvements.

The second question will go into effect only if the first question is approved. The spokesman for the school systems says it has been 11 years since the last bond referendum was passed.

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