Schools report positive start

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Southampton County principals reported during the school board meeting on Monday that the opening day and first week went especially well for all concerned.

“We had a great first week,” said Dr. Allison Francis of Capron Elementary School. “We’ve got 27 new students.” She added that one student who had transferred from Emporia told her, “It didn’t feel like school. It was just so fun.”

Tasha Ricks said Fresh Start had “a wonderful first week,” and added that students are already excited about classes in leadership. “We want to develop leaders,” she said.

“It was just amazing,” said Meherrin Elementary School Interim Principal Debra Hicks about the opening.

Nottoway Elementary’s Susan Melbye referred to the playdate that took place before the first day of school as a way of students and parents to become acquainted. She added that new reward system for students to be “Young DJs,” will allow them to play music at the school.

Her husband, Will, who leads Riverdale Elementary said there were over 400 people at the open house, and the first week was both “awesome and a lot of fun.”

“We have great students here in this county,” said Southampton High’s Allene Atkinson. She mentioned that several school clubs have been signing up new members for the year. Her school is already preparing for SOLs this October.

She also said that students represented the school over the summer at Future Farmers of America and the Future Business Leaders of America convention in California.

Darian Bell also had “an excellent opening” last week, and said he talked about expectations the school has of its students.”

“As you can see, we had an outstanding start of the school year,” Supt. Gwendolyn Shannon added.

Director of Auxiliary Services Ricky Blunt spoke on the maintenance projects for buildings. He said, “We were somewhat behind at the start of the summer, but at the end, we caught up. Principals submitted lists to help us decide what to do.”

Projects were done based on the hierarchy of safety first, instruction and then cosmetic. At Southampton Middle School, a professional search for mold showed none to be found. Repairs were made by Turner Roofing on the roofs over the gym, band room and some halls.

The career technical center did have mold issues in the business department, which Blunt said was “perplexing.” Work was started that day by McKee Environmental, and is anticipated to be done by Friday. Capron will get new seats in its auditorium by month’s end. The filter bed is being examined for possible replacement because its shelf life has been reached.

Roof leaks were repaired at Fresh Start, Meherrin and Nottoway, the latter two of which are getting  new playgrounds. Riverdale will be getting a new led sign and emergency generator.

The gym floor at Southampton was sanded and repainted.