Staggered start helps Perquimans kindergartners begin school
By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly
Monday, August 28, 2017
HERTFORD — More than 1,500 students headed back to Perquimans classrooms on Monday.
At Hertford Grammar School Principal Jason Griffin, Assistant Principal Trisha Brickhouse and Dean of Students Joycelyn Hinton visited every classroom to personally welcome students and introduce themselves.
Because of staggered attendance for kindergarten, attendance figures weren’t immediately available, but Perquimans schools Superintendent Matthew Cheeseman had estimated this year enrollment would be 1,667.
Students at Perquimans County High School were treated to a pep rally in the gym. Amy Rountree, a student at PCHS, said it was nice to be back.
"I actually missed it. I was ready to come back after the summer. I missed the teachers and I'm happy to be a senior. I'm ready to graduate and start off my life, fresh."
Stuart Fairchild, a sophomore, said he feels more focused.
"I'm more oriented this year. It seems more organized than last year. I'm enjoying the new football set-up and "Coach Rap" and I'm looking forward to having the first home football game on Friday night," he said.
Perquimans schools Transportation Director Jeffrey Miller said despite a few “hiccups” all students made it to school without any major issues. Twelve of the school bus drivers started their day at 5:30 a.m.
Twenty-five of the 28 bus drivers were back from last year. However, some routes have changed and new children are riding.
“Some (drivers) were learning their routes and were a few minutes late and we had a couple that missed their pickup and they had to turn around and go back,” Miller said.
Many parents opt to drive their children to school on the first day, and the numbers reflect that. Miller said buses delivered about 500 students on the first day. After a few weeks that number is expected to grow to close to 1,000.
Perquimans Central School used a staggered start for kindergarten students this year. Only kindergarten students with last names starting with the letters A through M reported to school on Monday. On Tuesday only those with names starting with the letters N through Z will attend.
Miller said the staggered start helps ease the transition to school for kindergartners.
“It allows for a more personal relationship,” Miller said.
As for the second day of school, Miller said the school system is monitoring the weather. No decision on Tuesday’s schedule had been made.