Jones County has first school day Tuesday since Sept. 11
Jones Senior principal Michael White watches students in the midst of a class change Tuesday at the high school. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
TRENTON | It’s been a while since Jones County had school on the schedule.
Tuesday was the first day back for students since Sept. 11 due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Florence. The children missed 24 days in total, but due to legislation from the N.C. General Assembly only four will have to be made up.
Jones Senior principal Michael White said nearly all of the students were in class Tuesday — only 11 were absent and most were due to sickness or doctor’s appointments.
“The kids have adjusted well and many of them were ready to be back,” White said. “We’re excited to see the friendly faces, and for a lot of the kids they acted like there wasn’t anything different.”
Among those students was Jones Senior sophomore Christian Cannon, who said everything was status quo.
“It’s the same to me,” Cannon said. “I was ready to go back, but nothing really changed here.”
Jones Senior freshman Madison Aloia said it felt good having a bit of normalcy.
“It’s been great to see how the community has come together, even with the situation given,” Aloia said.
Jones Middle School has been moved to the high school due to it and Trenton Elementary being uninhabitable after flood damage. Students of Trenton Elementary have been moved to Pollocksville Elementary and Comfort Elementary for the remainder of the school year.
Despite losing the school and much more in the community, Jones Middle guidance counselor Dr. Grace Simmons said the students have continued to stay upbeat.
“Kids are resilient,” Simmons said. “I saw it during open house when I looked at their faces to see how things would be when we got back to school. These kids have suffered so much, but their expressions were still exuberant and they stayed upbeat. The community has provided an outpouring of support, love and supplies, which also makes a world of difference. The kids have continued to take it in stride and (Tuesday) they were having a great time.”
Jones Middle eighth-grader Ja’Khari Bryant said it has been a smooth transition overall.
“It feels good to see my friends and teachers again,” Bryant said. “(The transition) has been easy and smooth.”