Getting ready for the start of the school year in CSRA

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 7:11 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The back-to-school hustle is in full force. It’s all in preparation for the first day of school for both Richmond and Columbia counties.

All students in Columbia County will head back to class Thursday. In Richmond County, there is a staggered start this year. Elementary school students have their first day Thursday. Everyone else starts back Monday.

If you’re feeling frazzled or maybe you need a refresher on those first-day checklists, we’re on your side with everything you need to know to be prepared for the first day.

On Wednesday, some parents were getting all the school supplies they need.

In addition to school supplies parents have to prepare their kids for the safety guidelines, too. Richmond County prepared this back-to-school checklist for parents online, reminding them to bring a water bottle because water fountains will be closed, get every eligible family member vaccinated if possible, and bring the most important item, a face mask.

“Based on what’s been going on with the pandemic and based on what we’re hearing from the community, we knew there was a need,” said Lakesha Armstrong, founder of I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministry.

Just one day before the start of school in Richmond County and help is out there. Today I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministry held their first back-to-school party giving out 125 book bags filled with supplies to Harrisburg families like Laura.

“Last year I was able to get him everything but this year with me being out of work, he got some things but there were still other stuff he needed,” said Laura Wright, Richmond County grandparent.

Wright says receiving the school supplies was a big load off her shoulders but supplies aren’t the only worry.

“I’m like really concerned with the masks and then with the new virus, but in Augusta they have to go to school so I’m just hoping that they keep them distanced and they keep them safe,” she said.

Masks are required in Richmond County and provided for students without one. In Columbia, masks are only required on the bus. Also in Richmond County kids will eat lunch in the cafeteria with friends and be able to play at recess. Physical distancing will be in place when possible. Hand sanitizing stations will be throughout the schools as well as increased cleanings.

Kids are excited.

“.Of course learning but like I just miss being with my friends sometimes,” said Rachyl Hawkins, student.

And parents are cautious.

“So my main concern is trying to get her vaccinated and keep her safe, she’s going to be around a lot more children so that is my biggest concern,” said Armstrong.

Richmond County officials say the transition back into school may be difficult for some students especially those who were learning virtual last year. That’s why on their checklist they also advise parents to make sure your students are comfortable around other kids and adults again.

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