WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Lowcountry students said goodbye to 2015 summer break and hello to a new school year Monday morning.
The first bell at Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School, in West Ashley, went off at 7:50 a.m. The school starts at 8 a.m. But, students, parents and teachers were at the school long before the first bell sounded.
"You don't sleep well the night before because you're so excited," said Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School Principal Cathie Middleton.
Middleton, going on her 17th year at the school, says the arts infused program bring unique opportunities for students.
"We've grown academically," said Middleton. "We've grown with the arts."
Soon, students will have homework and projects. But, Middleton said, the first day of school is about the smiles and eager spirits.
"I like school because you learn and get smart," said third grader Auden Horne.
Auden was eager to show her kindergarten sister Reese the way.
Reese, on-the-other-hand, had her own advice for students.
"You have to be quiet so you can listen to your teacher," said Reese.
Parents couldn't take enough pictures of their kids.
It was bittersweet moment for parents, as their children started new chapters in their lives.
For the students, the day seemed only sweet.
"Because we get to see our friends," said fifth grader Alexis Vayber.
With flowers for their teachers, smiles on their faces, backpacks full and ready, the door for the 2015-2016 school year had officially opened, creating endless opportunities.
"All kinds of avenues for us to explore and do new things with children," said Middleton.
Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary started in 1984, but it has been in a new building since 2010.