D50 first day 03 (copy)

First-grade teacher Shelby Anderson helps one of her students during Mathews Elementary’s first day of school in 2020.

Moms and dads, grab your cameras. The first day of school is almost here.

There are just three days left of summer for many kids. Three days left to soak up the sun and sleep in, but three days also remaining to sharpen new pencils and pick out a fresh outfit. School starts Thursday for many area students.

Thursday marks the first day of school for students in Greenwood County School Districts 50, 51 and 52, as well as students in the McCormick County School District.

It’s the first year of the modified, year-round school calendar in Greenwood County, meaning students start school much earlier in the summer than usual, but have additional breaks, or intersessions, after each nine-week period.

“We’re excited to have (students) coming back, we really are,” District 50 Superintendent Steve Glenn said. “I’m excited to get the school year started.”

There’s stress and anxiety that accompany the change, he said, “but I really believe it’ll be good for our students and our community.”

Students will still have holidays, Thanksgiving break and Christmas break out of school, along with breaks from Sept. 27-Oct. 8 and March 21-April 1.

“That’ll rejuvenate not only our kids but also our faculty,” Glenn said.

“It’s a long grind and we feel like that’ll be a benefit, and you have that remediation time for any of our students who are behind, will be able to come back and get them caught back up.”

Those aren’t the only benefits — Glenn mentioned a single parent who talked about how much they’re looking forward to the vacation they’ve booked at the end of September, first of October when vacation prices are more affordable. It’ll be the first time she’s taken her kids to the beach for vacation.

“That’s big, that’s important,” Glenn said.

Other local schools are beginning school later, in August.

Abbeville County public schools will start Aug. 17, and students will return to Saluda County schools on Aug. 19.

Greenwood Christian School begins Aug. 18, and Cambridge Academy starts back on Aug. 12.

Contact staff writer Lindsey Hodges at 864-943-5644 or on Twitter @LindseyNHodges.