Sgt. 1st Class Alicia Blackwell, a drill sergeant leader at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy, escorts her children to C.C. Pinckney Elementary School on the first day of the new school year Aug. 17. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons)

Jackson heads back to school

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Fort Jackson welcomed students back to school Aug. 17 as they began the new school year – albeit 15 minutes later than before.

Garrison Commander Col. Ryan Hanson and Brian Perry, the Department of Defense Education Activity’s community superintendent for South Carolina, Fort Stewart schools watched as students and their families arrived for the new year.

At Pierce Terrace Elementary School McGruff the Crime Dog and school faculty greeted students with a smile and sometimes a hug.

“We are excited to see the kids coming back,” Perry said as students arrived at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School. “We’re excited to have a great start of the school year … We are just looking forward to getting back to school and having all the students here.”

This “extra special” year is different as the schools are part of a pilot program allowing students from off-post to go on-post schools. Roughly 50 students from off-post are enrolled in Jackson schools.

The start time was pushed back to “allow us to do some professional development for our teachers and just make it consistent for our teachers across the community,” Perry added.