CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Students are stepping inside classrooms all across the Lowcountry for the first day of a new school year.
The school year began in Berkeley County with an effort designed to get more fathers involved in the back-to-school process. Berkeley Middle School will participate in the national Million Father March initiative. The school is encouraging all fathers to bring their children to school, according to district spokesperson Aimee Murray.
"Research shows that students with involved fathers score higher on cognitive tests, have higher self-esteem and possess abilities associated with higher education achievement," Berkeley Middle School guidance counselor Patricia Hill said.
When fathers and children arrive at the school on the first day, they will be offered doughnuts and coffee, name tags, pledge sheets and an "I took my child to school today!" badge. Fathers will also have the opportunity to sign up to volunteer for school events.
In the Charleston County School District, 49,000 students will return to the district's 84 schools.
The district is starting its school year with a new superintendent in place. Dr. Gerrita Postlewait plans to tour several schools Monday.
Back-to-school day means many students will be out waiting for the school bus, and motorists are urged to be on the lookout for kids and to slow down when they see children present.
Motorists meeting a school bus on the opposite side of a two-lane road, with one lane in either direction must stop when the bus stops. When traveling the same direction as the school bus, motorists must stop when the bus makes a stop no matter how many lanes are present.
For motorists on the opposite side of the road, with two or more lanes on either side, motorists may pass a stopped school bus, but they are still urged to use extreme caution and watch for children who may be approaching the bus.
Students in Colleton, Dorchester District 4 and Williamsburg Counties also head back to the classroom, while students in Georgetown County have a few more days off; that district's first day of school is set for Thursday.