As cars piled into parking lots and masses of children walked through the doors into North Augusta Elementary, the scene at the school Monday morning seemed less like the first day of school and more like an assembly line.
Police officers helped guide cars down through the school’s entry road and cross walk guards hustled parents and their children across the bust parking lot. Teachers and school employees helped guide the roughly 650 students attending school toward the main entrances of the building. Some parents stopped and posed their children for cellphone pictures as the stream of people began to die down.
Most children seemed ready to attend their first day back. One girl led her parent by the hand into the school building, dodging through the crowd to get to her classroom on time.
Inside the building, the main office was swamped with students seeking out their classrooms and parents asking questions about their child’s first day back to school, at one point with a line backing out the room and into the hallway.
But despite the crowds, Assistant Principal Felicia Walters said everything was running just as planned.
“We’ve been very busy, but it’s been going great today,” Walters said. “We’re expecting roughly 115 new students this year. We’re all very excited and ready to begin our classes.”
Walters added that the school also gained a new principal, Wendy Jacobs, and one new teacher.
Outside, some parents were feeling heightened emotions of their own. Kristen Douglas, who had just dropped off her 5-year-old daughter Layla at the elementary school, said she was trying to keep her feelings in check.
“Layla was very excited to be going to school here,” Douglas said. “I’ve been trying to keep my emotions under control. This is a big moment. I’ll probably be crying on the way to work.”