By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — Monday morning came all too quickly for some students as alarm clocks rang out before the sun had even begun to brighten the dark sky. Sleepy eyes and groggy minds were soon shaken off, though, as kids in Greenville City School District made the realization: Today is the first day of school!
Many students and their families had filled the schools’ hallways just last Thursday during the district’s open house. Students could be seen laughing with their reacquainted friends, shyly introducing themselves to unknown teachers, and fumbling with new lockers and mountainous bags of fresh classroom supplies. Some wore masks; many didn’t. However, it was still easy to spot the excitement on their faces. Even though students claim to love summer break, it may be that they love the return to school just as much.
Greenville Middle School student, Marcella Marlett, grade 6, stated, “The first day was a little chaotic, making sure I was everywhere on time.” Marcella explained she had completed grade 5 remotely, so there was a little stress getting “back into the swing of being at school.” Overall, she reported her day went better than expected, citing that she was especially happy to find she had many good friends in her classes and even has her best friend as a locker mate. Another middle school student, grade 8, said, “I hate waking up in the morning, but it was fun to see my friends and find out what my new classes were.” His sister, grade 6, went on to comment, “The best part was making new friends and the worst was probably the amount of time it took to open my locker!” A fellow sixth-grader chimed in, “The worst thing was probably that recess didn’t last long!”
Kyleigh Clark, grade 11 at Greenville High School, expressed, “It was very nice to be back at school and being able to see everybody’s faces with no masks. It felt much closer to being back to normal than it has felt in a very long time. All of the staff seemed very excited to be back and able to teach. There are still a few COVID-19 protocols in place, such as plastic dividers and different bell times to keep the people in the halls limited, but everything still runs smoothly. I enjoyed being back and being able to see all of my friends.”
Greenville Middle School principal, Rhonda Schaar added, “I’ve had multiple teachers comment on how great of a beginning this was today. The students were comfortable and so glad to be back to the routine and expectations of school.” Mrs. Schaar went on to proudly state that a 30-year veteran teacher said this was one of the best starts ever and another teacher had e-mailed her to say, “Solid start! Great job!” Mrs. Schaar was also happy with some students choosing to wear masks and others choosing not to wear masks, there had been no differentiation between them as everyone was accepting of one another’s personal choices. All in all, it was a successful start with a back-to-business type atmosphere in the Greenville City School District today.
Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.