Richmond County elementary students return for the first day of school

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For the students and parents, it’s the first time in over two years that COVID is not the biggest topic on everyone’s mind.

We were out in schools Thursday to see what this year will look like.

It’s a welcomed sight at schools across Richmond County as kids return to the classroom. Some may have been nervous, and others happy, but overall, everyone’s looking forward to a much more normal school year.

As students flooded the hallways at Bayvale Elementary, it was nothing but excitement to be back in school.

“Overall, I love it. They’re excited. I’m excited to see what this journey is going to take us on this year,” said Lyneisha Dykes, Richmond County parent.

Dykes has three kids starting school.

“It’s busy. It’s very busy,” she said.

She’s happy to have the chance to walk them to class.

“The kids are happy. Everything looks to be going good, and I’m just hoping we have a better and safe year this year as things are going back to school,” said Dykes.

Principal Vanessa Darling says safety is the top priority this year.

“We want our parents to know what we do on a daily basis is designed to ensure our students will be safe,” she said.

This is not her first rodeo either.

“It’s a different kind of excitement for me. This is my 30th first day of school. I’m still just as excited today as I was on day one,” said Darling.

They know returning to school may be nerve-wracking for some.

“We have worked hard all summer doing Richmond Ready, where we have reflected on our practices, thought about things we can do in terms of wellness for ourselves, and social-emotional learning for our students,” she said.

They talked about the elephant in the room, COVID. They’re making sure students are washing hands, distancing when possible, and not sharing supplies.

“We are just ready to motivate our students, ready to engage them, and ready to get them learning,” she said.

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