GREENVILLE – “We are on time!” said Jon McGreevey, director of Business Services & Career Technology at Greenville High School. It was Aug. 27, the first day of school for Greenville City Schools. Three buses were still enroute at 7:46 a.m.; classes were scheduled to begin at 7:49. All three had arrived and dropped off their students by 7:48.
McGreevey, Assistant Principal Carl Brown and Principal Ken Neff were outside at different points in front of Greenville High School. Numerous alterations to student access had been made due to the ongoing construction work to the cafeteria addition. One of them included a different line-up for the buses, the vast majority of which typically arrived about 7:30. On Wednesday, however, they came in at different times, from about 7:20 to just before the beginning of class.
“Not unusual for the first few days,” McGreevey said. “There are always little glitches here and there; students aren’t at their stops on time, drivers may have to wait more in some areas than others.”
There were other glitches as well; mostly minor ones. According to Neff the locked front door was supposed to automatically unlock with the first bell. It didn’t. “I just unlocked the door,” he said when he came out of the building. He noted the fence around the cafeteria remodeling construction area; it helped resolve a concern about students being too close to arriving buses. “We’ll be able to keep students away from the buses easier,” he said.
He pointed to the new entrance to the current cafeteria where students traditionally wait until the bell allowing them to go to their lockers and classes. It had handicap access and was reached directly off the sitting area in front of the building. The front entrance also had a new handicap ramp.
McGreevey said the Internet had gone down briefly but it was now running. While other problems may materialize during the day, he was positive about the high school’s readiness for the first day of classes.
He also liked having a Greenville Resource Officer on campus. Following the last bus to arrive, the new resource officer, Jesse Osswald, and GPD Lt. Steve Strick arrived. Osswald laughed… I’m bringing Lt. Strick with me every day.” Strick laughed… of course, in addition to his other duties.
All buses had arrived on time… not so for parent drop-offs. A few were still straggling in shortly after 8 a.m.
‘My brain doesn’t need expanding’
GREENVILLE – Reactions seemed to be unanimous… none of the Greenville High School students arriving early for Day 1 of the new school year wanted to be there. No. No. No. And no again. A few with a strong emphasis on NO! Reasons, however were mixed.
One student was concerned about the construction interfering with his nap time. “I don’t know where I’m going to take my nap,” he said, frustrated. Eventually he just shrugged his shoulders… “In class, I guess.”
Another student looked at the construction in bewilderment. “This isn’t my school!” he said. “What have they done with my school?” As a sophomore this year, he says he’s a ‘seasoned’ veteran of first day happenings… “I have the books I bought at the fair… if it gets boring I’ll have something to read.”
Others were still talking about the fair; they hadn’t completed the let-down process… four days earlier they were still walking the fairgrounds.
“Summer went by too fast,” said a junior. The sophomore sitting next to him responded by saying, “When you get old it goes by faster.” He got a punch on the arm for his unsolicited comment.
Four students were sitting together about 7:15. Two were animatedly talking. One was checking out his iPhone and one was downright grumpy. They were four of the “no’s.” Was there any interest at all in the educational journey, expanding their brain power, learning new things, taking part in the high school experience…
“My brain doesn’t need expanding!” came the heated reply.
Student reactions to the beginning of the new school year are mixed; the theme, however, is the same: they aren’t ready! (Bob Robinson photo)