GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenwood Co. school districts held their first day of school Thursday and students were welcomed back by teachers excited to see them.
7NEWS visited Hodges Elementary where teachers dressed up as honey bees like their mascot, to welcome back the students.
Superintendent Steve Glenn of District 50 said the early start was decided on before COVID-19 closed down some schools. It means students will be in the classroom more days out of the year but will have breaks throughout the school year and would hopefully give students a chance to bring test scores up.
Glenn said the school is still operating under DHEC guidelines from last year including that face coverings/ masks are optional but recommended for students staff and on buses and can be provided by the school.
Hand washing and sanitizing is recommended before you get to school, in classrooms and the cafeteria. The district said everyday a daily health survey should be completed by students and each school has developed a safety plan in regard to procedures for lunches and gatherings like assemblies.
7 News also went to Emerald High School to check out their first day back.
With close to 900 students, the classrooms are at full capacity, tachers are completely in-person and sporting events will welcome full stands.
However, even with more normalcy, they’re still focused on keeping students healthy.
Everyone has access to PPE and is welcome to wear it at any point.
They’ve also formulated new plans for quarintining and contact tracing if someone were to test positive.
Principal Jamie Blunt says after everything they went through in 2020, she’s ready for a fresh new school year.
Blunt said, “I could not sleep. I was up at about 3:30 just excited, not anxious, just excited about getting to see all of our students in the building again. We actually had our new viking night on monday and we were just overwhelmed by the outpouring of students and families coming to get schedules and tour the building,”