SOUTH CAROLINA (WTOC) - Thousands of students in the Lowcountry return to the classroom on Monday. It’s the first day of school for Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.
The Jasper County School District has been preparing all summer for the first day of the 2019-2020 school year. WTOC spoke with Jasper County Superintendent Rechel Anderson last week and she said she is excited for students and teachers to get back into the normal operations.
Anderson said the district staff, as well as the school board, have been listening to the needs of students, teachers, parents and the community. She said for a while now, students have been wanting more when it comes to their school lunch. She said the students have been asking for a choice and that they would like to see more options available throughout the lunch line.
So, this year the school system is using a new food service that will provide more choices to the students.
The school district has also been working to clean up and spruce up many of its school buildings. Anderson says crews have been busy power washing, mopping, dusting, waxing and getting ready for this new school year because they want their school buildings to be a comfortable place to work and learn.
In Beaufort County, one of the biggest tasks for the district is how to deal with all the growth. More than 22,000 students will begin the new school year Monday.
Beaufort County schools are some of the fastest growing in the region. So much so that this November, county residents will vote on a referendum that will allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to safety and security upgrades in all district schools.
For now, Superintendent Dr. Frank Rodriguez says the district does have a plan in place to deal with some of the schools who just don't have enough space for all their students.
"One of those things where we’ve seen our growth, we’ll be adding some additional mobiles that should be arriving in a couple weeks for the schools and that’s part of combating that growth,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “Our schools have plans in place to support our teachers with that growth...we’re looking forward to helping and supporting our teachers.”