More school districts start class today, including Greenville County

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Administrators and members of the community attended Taylors Elementary this morning welcoming students back for another year with excitement about special resources.

Principal Rhonda Rhodes said the sensory path and sensory room are features unique to their school.


They have a new playground and celebrate being a “Leader in me” school focusing on leadership and fundamental principals of being a good student and person.


District leaders said new throughout Greenville County School District is a change in pay for all teachers. Spokesperson Beth Brotherton said the district is the first in the state to make sure no teacher in the county will be paid less than $40,000 annual salary.


Brotherton said all teachers received an average 6.5% raise this year.
The Greenville County School District also added more personnel to make sure every teacher had at least one 30 minute planning period.
That amounts to 525 teachers, 337 of which are first year teachers. There is also 13 new principals

In Pickens County: students at McKissick Academy of Science and Technology were welcomed back to their first day of school with music from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

The school principal, Heather Touchberry said its fitting given their school mascot is a shark.

Touchberry added, McKissick’s school year is off to a good start with parents taking pictures of their students outside of the new building’s archway.

In addition to having a fully staff school, despite teachers shortages throughout South Carolina, Touchberry said this positive first day helps her focus on improving her students’ future.

“We do something called project base learning, which in the classroom, students create and design solutions for real world problems. Then they can also create those within the shark tank along with coding, computer science, and something called project lead the way which incorporates engineering design,” Touchberry said.

Pickens County Coordinator of Communication, John Eby, said some families are looking forward other postive changes within the district.

“New changes, not a lot. New high school start times, they are moving back 10 minutes from 8:10 to 8:20. You’re welcome teenagers. Few more minutes of sleep in the morning,” Eby said.

Third grade teacher Janna Epting said the school will be great because of one simple thing, a postive attidute.

“Just come in with a positive attitued and a smile on your face. You are, and you’re going to be come what you think you are. So, just have postive thoughts from this day forward,” Epting said.

Pickens County school district data found their students consistently rank near the top of South Carolina in academic achievement. 

The district serves 14 elementary schools, five middle schools, four high schools, and a Career and Technology Center; they record an annual enrollment of about 16,300 students.

SDPC is the 15th largest school district in South Carolina.

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