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      Thousands of Tri-County students go back to school

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The book bags were zipped and lunch boxes full as students walked through the doors of Dorchester District 2 and Berkeley County schools on Monday for the first day of school.

      As parents took those first day pictures out front of the schoolhouse, school officials at Berkeley County's Cane Bay Elementary were ready to hit the ground running on Day 1.

      "We will begin instruction at 7:55 a.m. and end when the bell rings," said Cane Bay Elementary Principal Diane White. "We will be teaching common core state standards all day long today."

      Schools in both districts have been preparing ahead of time to help ease those first day jitters and nerves for students, parents, and even teachers.

      "We've had different events throughout the summer to help the kids get oriented and help the parents at well feel at ease," said Cane Bay Middle School Principal Deon Jackson.

      While there may have been some jitters and nerves, the overall attitude in the hallways and around the school grounds was one of excitement.

      "We're just ecstatic about being back in school and they're so excited to see their classrooms and the teachers just bring this energy that is contagious no matter where you go in the building," said Joseph Pye Elementary Assistant Principal Rachel Van Damme.

      And while students will be cracking open books and getting in a little fun, too, White stressed that safety was always a focus for school officials.

      "We want our parents to know that our most important job today and everyday is the safety of their children," White said.

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