Beaufort County Schools staff, students excited for first day back


BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Beaufort County is one of the Lowcountry districts that went back to school on Monday, and the staff could not be more excited to get the year going.

Back to school in Beaufort County means more than 22,000 students will be picking up backpacks and pencils for the first time since May. At Port Royal Elementary, they’re hoping their project-based learning style lets kids grow and learn better than they ever have.

"So, the first day of school was really exciting. We welcome lots of returning students as well as lots of new families to our school this year," said Principal Browne at Port Royal Elementary.

Firefighters and a support dog also went to the school Monday morning to welcome the students into the new year. The principal says not only did this cause a lot of excitement, it also comforted one student who was there.

“It fluctuates. We lose some kids over the summer, we get new students and roll, but we’re right around where we ended last year, at approximately 225 smiling faces.”

She says their school has been preparing for today for months.

"In May of last school year, we had an end-of-year kind of picnic where we had the students meet their new teachers for the upcoming year, so that way they didn’t feel so anxious and so nervous. They knew where they were going in the hallway. They knew who they were going to be with, and that eases students’ and the parents’ minds.”

While the parents may not have been too nervous, teachers in the school were anxious and excited to meet their new kids. Corey Hollis is a 3rd Grade teacher at Port Royal, and says every year, kids say the same thing

“You know, I actually did an activity today, and I asked “what makes you nervous,' and they said, 'tests. New tests,” he said.

Every year, it all works out.

“I’m a passionate teacher. I love to be exciting. I’d love to make songs about the academic content, so, I just like to do extreme ways and extreme measures to make sure my kids are successful.”

Someone else in the school district also had their first day on Monday. Superintendent Dr. Frank Rodriguez started his tenure over the summer, but began his first day Monday along with hundreds of other students.

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