RICHMOND COUNTY – Parents and students, new and returning, ranging from kindergarten to high school, scrambled across the Richmond County to visit schools during Richmond County School’s “open house” Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
In order to allow families with students in different schools to visit their open house, RCS staggered the start times. The elementary schools were available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., while the middle schools and Ninth Grade Academy operated from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Richmond Senior High School ran the longest, calling it a day at 8 p.m.
At Monroe Avenue Elementary School in Hamlet, students rushed the hallways to see old and new teachers and their new classrooms. Parents and students were highly engaged in learning how technology would be used in the classrooms. Class Dojo, an online program, will be used as a behavior tracker, and Tenmarks is a math program that will be utilized both in and out of class. Students even had the option to have their homework, which is extra credit, received electronically or the traditional hard copy.
Gabrielle McDonald, a rising third grader and aspiring gymnast, was most excited about reading and acquiring new books. While meeting her new teachers in Mrs. Little’s classroom, she spotted a book focused on gymnastics. She tapped Mrs. Little on the arm and said, “Excuse me Mrs. Little, may I please borrow this book, I promise to take care of it.”
Monroe Avenue set up tables in their media center and displayed selected books that students could have, as many as they would like, for a $1 donation. Students left with bags of books and boxes of local bread.
Questions were on the lips of parents as they met many of their student’s teachers for the first time. Excitement and nervousness were painted on the faces of many students as they said goodbye to one grade level and hello to another.
Rising Ninth Grader, Amaya Flowers shared this sentiment: “I’m excited and nervous about all of us ninth graders being at one school. It’s going to be a crazy, fun year.”
All four of the middle schools, Cordova Middle, Ellerbe Middle, Hamlet Middle and Rockingham Middle feed into the Ninth Grade Academy.
Brittany Covington, beginning teacher at the Ninth Grade Academy, expressed eagerness for meeting her new students for the upcoming school year.
“I hope all of my students come so I can see their face and know who they are before Monday,” Covington said. “Teaching is all about building relationships and I hope come Monday, it can be a hey, how are you doing versus first introductions.”
At RSHS, serving grades 10th-12th, the senate greeted arriving students at the door in their splendid green and gold sashes.
The whirlwind of students located their homerooms, talked to old classmates, complained about their schedules and visited some of their favorite teachers’ rooms.
Cherice Washington, who is a civics and history teacher, recited her spiel to all incoming families and students.
“I only have two rules,” Washington inclined. “One is respect. Respect is earned, but I give it to you on the first day. It is your job to maintain it. And two, I don’t tolerate bullying. I won’t let anyone bully you and I won’t allow you to bully anyone else.”
She ended with humor, adding, “ I run my class like a family. Sorry if you don’t want any additional family members. I’ll be like that cousin that comes to every cookout even when you don’t want them there.”
Parents, students, and staff are looking forward to an exciting, engaging, and excellent school year. Richmond County Schools serves roughly 8,000 students in 16 schools throughout the district. The first day of school for everyone will be Monday, August 28th.