GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County is the largest Public School District in the State. District leaders said 87 schools in the county will start back Tuesday.

“We are definitely ready,” Tim Waller with the Greenville County School District said. “We are very excited about the start of a brand new school year.”

This year more than 78,000 students are expected to attend Greenville County Schools. All students will start back a week earlier than usual. 

Waller said the early start is meant to allow students to finish their first semester of school and take state tests before winter break instead of having to relearn their material for those exams after they return.

“We think this is going to work out better,” Waller said. “We are excited it’s a brand-new school year. Teachers are ready to go, principals are ready to go. We have a number of new principals. We have tons of new teachers.”

Greenville County Schools said it has been challenging hiring enough teachers, as a teacher shortage has affected many counties across the country.

“We are lucky in Greenville County in a sense, this is such a desirable place to live,” Waller said. “Greenville, South Carolina is one of the top destination cities in the country for people to move to. That bodes well for us as a school district because people want to live here for all the things the upstate has to offer. Plus, we are one of the top paying school districts for teachers in the state.”

While the beginning of the school year can bring new challenges and opportunities, the school district said this school year will be special with the addition of their new Career and Technical Education Innovation Center located along Roper Mountain Road. 

The district said the brand new building, opening tomorrow, will offer courses like aerospace, clean energy technology, and cyber security. 

“These were courses thought of by upstate manufacturers who are looking down the road at their workforce needs and said you really ought to have a career center that teaches this kind of stuff,” Waller said. “That is exactly what the CTE Innovation Center is doing. Tomorrow is the first day, so we are going to see how it goes.”

Greenville County Schools said it want to remind parents and students to be careful on the way to school and leaving, as everyone gets adjusted to new bus routes, car rider lines, and navigating the new year. 

Also, parents, if you have not signed your student up for school yet and they are entering kindergarten or first grade, you are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.