SPARTANBURG CO., S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County students will be going back to school next week and, for some, it will be the first time in a new building.
7 News learned how one Spartanburg County school is working to help those students feel welcome, comfortable, and safe in their new environment.
“Middle school kids are a different breed altogether and I love them. They make you smile every day, they make you laugh every day,” Tucker Hamrick said. “We have approximately 235 students here and I have three kids of my own, so I have 238 kids.”
Tucker Hamrick is the principal at Landrum Middle School and said he’s excited to be welcoming new Cardinals into their flock.
But going to a new school can sometimes be a bit of a challenge; and when you add a pandemic on top, things can feel a little scary.
Principal Hamrick told 7 News he knows just how to ease those first-day jitters. His first move, he said, is always humor.
“This is the only school you will ever come into where you enter shorter than the principal and leave taller than the principal,” he said with a laugh.
And on the first day back, Hamrick said they’ll have a big orientation and tour of the school, and faculty and staff will be answering any questions students may have about their schedules.
“They will see adults constantly with them. They will never be alone,” he said. “Walking the halls, they won’t be alone. They will always have somebody there to go to and to see.”
The biggest difference, Hamrick said, will be getting used to the social distancing.
“Unfortunately, they won’t be getting that high-five and ‘Welcome back’ from people,” he said. “It’s going to be very friendly. It’s just not going to be as personable as giving out high-fives and shaking hands.”
Students can expect to see constant cleaning and masks will be worn in all areas where social distancing isn’t possible.
“I don’t want them to worry one thing about COVID-19. I want them to worry about learning and having a good time at Landrum Middle School,” Hamrick said.
Another new thing students at Landrum Middle School can expect on their first day is having their temperature checked before going inside the building.