When Samantha Morris strode to the doorway of her Bethel Hill Charter School classroom and turned off the lights, she had everyone’s attention.
The fifth-year veteran teacher was about to open a new school year for a classroom filled with excited first-graders, their parents and several little brothers and sisters.
The school held an open house Thursday night to welcome families back to school.
Morris talked to the group about her expectations for the year (fun) and what the students will be learning (building vocabulary and reading, among other things).
“The first grade is a big year for reading. We really want our students read at home every night,” Morris told the group. She said students will have a goal of reading 100 books during the course of first-grade and they can earn pennies for each book they read, which can then be traded in for goodies.
Morris walked the group through a lot of other information in a quick 30-minute session, but it was clear the teachers are looking forward to the new school year almost as much as their young charges.
In addition to meeting with teachers, families enjoyed a hot dog supper in the classroom. Students had the opportunity to sign up for clubs and other extracurricular activities, while parents were encouraged to join the school’s PTA and buy shirts and other items sporting the Bethel Hill Charter name.
Classes begin for students at the K-5 charter school on Monday. While most students will go straight to their classrooms, kindergarteners will ease into things. Those students and their families will gather in the school auditorium first thing Monday morning. Each student will be called to the front of the auditorium one by one and when he class is complete, those students will head out with their teacher to go begin their educational experience.
Person County’s other charter school, Roxboro Community School, begins classes Thursday and Person County Public Schools open their doors to students on Aug. 26.
Samantha Morris’s students seemed ready to start class Thursday night.