Armed with pencils, paper and Spiderman and Barbie-themed bookbags, thousands of kids took over Dorchester District Two schools when classes started Aug. 18.
The district said its 22 schools combined welcomed more than 24,300 for the 2014-2015 school year. Student counts on the first day showed school numbers increased by approximately 740 students over the first day of class last year.
Some kids said they were not happy summer vacation is officially over – though others were excited to see friends and get back in the swing of things. The largest increase in student enrollment was at the elementary level.
Elementary school parents gave mixed emotions. At Flowertown Elementary, Ashley Hatcher’s three daughters were not too thrilled about school.
“Mommy is,” Hatcher said, “but I’ll miss them.”
Jessica Baker’s daughter Adilyn Aldridge was starting kindergarten at Flowertown – something Baker was coping with as she dropped her daughter off.
“I’m hanging in there,” Baker said. “She’s my first and only.”
Next door at Newington Elementary, Joe Perez walked his son Ryan to his first day of kindergarten as well.
“He’s excited,” Perez said. “He’s got his friends this year so he’s really excited about it.”
Elementary schools started their day at 7:25 a.m. At Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary, late buses were still arriving at 7:40 a.m. – and at least one bus still had to go out for another round of pickups.
Pat Raynor, public information officer for the district, told The Summerville Journal Scene that bus issues are “pretty much the norm” for the fist day of school.
“It’s very normal because of the traffic,” she said. “A lot of parents take their students on the first day of school to walk them to their classes, so that makes the traffic pattern around the schools even more chaotic, and that impacts the buses.”
Raynor said as far as she knows the buses at Joseph R. Pye Elementary were just about on time.
“It kind of evens out after the second day, when there is less parent traffic,” she said, adding the district will be monitoring the bus activity. “It’s just a lot of first day factors. We ask parents to be patient.”