A smooth start

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What a way to start a year.

Students all over the city fought a serious downpour as they made their way to the first day of school.

While the weather might not have cooperated, students and administration alike said the year got off to a great start.

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Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent Milton Liverman said he thought the back-to-school transition went smoothly.

“It’s been a good day,” Liverman said in an email to the Suffolk News-Herald. “Transportation seemed to run smoothly, despite the rain. While out visiting schools today, the buildings looked great, but most importantly, the kids were focused and on task. I’m looking forward to a great 2009-10 school year for students, staff, parents and the community.”

Bethanne Bradshaw, public information officer for Suffolk Public Schools, said the schools experienced a few roof leaks and parking lot drainage problems because of the heavy rain, but nothing impacted the classrooms.

Bradshaw also said the schools were still working to verify the final count for the first day, but the system saw approximately 13,400 students show up for day one.

Bradshaw added that it is typical for the school system to see an increase of up to 100 students a day, in the first 10 days of school.

Two of those more than 13,000 students who made it through their first day back were Stephanie and Tiffany Hill, two cousins who are juniors at Nansemond River High School. The girls said their first day back went well.

“It was good,” said Stephanie. “The teachers are nice. They were interesting.”

Tiffany agreed.

“It went by fast today,” Tiffany said. “It was fun to see everybody back from the summer.”

Students throughout the city were sent home with a letter from Liverman and Dr. Lisa McCoy, director of the Western Tidewater Health District. In the letter, students and parents were reminded of the threat of the H1N1 virus (more commonly referred to as the swine flu) and were given steps to prevent spreading the virus, such as hand washing, vaccination and constant vigilance for flu-like symptoms.

Bradshaw also added that, as of today, 71 sixth-grade students, out of a class of 1,047, still had not verified they had received their tDap immunizations.