The halls of Mill Creek Elementary School were brightly light, with even brighter smiles greeting old and new students along with their parents.
Some students were excited to see the first day of school while others came with their parents in tears. Some parents left the school in tears after leaving their kids off for their first-ever day of school.
The first day was filled of teachers and students getting the school year “off to a great start,” Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson said.
“Everybody is really excited and had a great first day back,” Wilson said. “Every school in which I walked into, the halls were cleared, students and teachers were in the classrooms, and they were going over expectations. They were going over procedures. They were actually doing work. That’s excellent. People are getting to the task and they’re down to business and that’s working with the students on what they need to learn.”
According to a news release from the Board of Education, the first day had a great start with transportation running “safely and smoothly.”
“I really have to attribute the majority of it to the principals and the teachers at the schools,” Wilson said. “What they’ve done is that they focused on what they need to do to make sure the students are ready, the teachers are ready and what the parents need to do. I think really, the thing is, you have teamwork involved. You have good teamwork happening. People are all trying to accomplish the same thing together. ”
Parents can expect services to run later than normal for the next couple of school days to allow the schedule to settle, according to the release.
However, the release also indicated the attendance was down by almost 300 students in the district.
Wilson said district officials couldn’t explain the drop, but that attendance might increase on Monday.
“It is a possibility, and we’ll find this out later and it really won’t settle down until about the 40-day count,” Wilson said. “But what I suspect is because it is a Friday, we’re missing some students on that first day. I think come Monday, we will probably see a significant increase because a lot of families may still be on vacation when you get down to it.”
One set of expectations that was discussed was what students will see with the new Georgia Milestones Assessment System, Wilson said.
The Milestones will not be conducted until the next semester, said Hayley Greene, the school system’s public relations and marketing specialist.
The tone of the first day can set the tone for the rest of the year, and Wilson thinks the “positive tone” set Friday will continue.
“Everyone is excited. It’s such a great time because everyone is moving forward,” he said. “Great first day to get conditioned, and Monday is going to be all about hitting the floor running.”