Back to School: New school year kicks off in some Pee Dee districts

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:23 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:27 PM EDT
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Students in Florence School Districts One, Two and Three zipped up their backpacks and officially headed back to school.

There is always the first day of school jitters, but this is especially true for many students in Florence School District One who are starting at a brand-new school and district.

BACK TO SCHOOL | One-Stop Shop for Back-To-School Information

Florence School District One and Four consolidated a month ago, so students who previously attended district four schools are now enrolled in District One.

This is after State Superintendent Molly Spearman declared a state of emergency back in 2018 for District Four calling it financially unstable.

Now, all Florence Four schools are closed except Brockington Elementary school which will remain open as a magnet school for the arts.

RELATED COVERAGE | Florence School District 4 consolidation goes into effect July 1

This caused a previous uproar in the Timmonsville community and even led to the District Four school board filing a lawsuit against the State Department of Education.

The lawsuit is still making its way through the court system.

Another thing at the forefront of students’ and parents’ minds as the school year starts is school safety.

Safety at school has been a major concern, especially after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Florence School District One and the county are doing a few different things to step up security measures.

First, more than 300 first responders in Florence County recently completed active shooter training.

RELATED COVERAGE | Florence first responders train for active school shooter situations

The training lasted two weeks and included paintball guns, special effects makeup and 911 dispatch calls to make the situation as real as possible.

The district one school board also voted back in April to install metal detectors in all four middle schools.

These would be the same EVOLV metal detectors already installed in all three Florence high schools.

Florence School District Three also recommended that students use clear backpacks as an extra safety precaution.

District Three is offering clear backpacks to students if they’re interested.

Darlington County School District and Marion County School District students also headed back to class on Monday to start the new school year.

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