GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County students and their families got a look into their classrooms ahead of the new school year during an open house event on Thursday.

“It is really fun to be standing at those doors at 4 o’clock and open them up to see everyone so excited to start a new year,” said Robbie Johnson, principal at Eastern Elementary School.

Pitt County Schools held the open house at several of its schools. The idea was to give students time to meet their teachers but also for teachers to start a relationship with families.

“It does help them establish that first line of communication,” Johnson said. “We know lots of students experience first-day jitters so this gives them an opportunity to see their space, how to get there and being a little more comfortable on day one.”

This school year will look a little different than it has in the past.

“Last year we had to be very careful about how much students were working together in collaborative groups,” Johnson said. “We were also eating in the classroom for breakfast and lunch, so this year we will be able to go back to using our cafeteria space. We’re excited to offer them socialization because we know that they need that so much more than we originally thought prior to COVID.”

It’s welcome changes as teachers and staff are ready for new beginnings at Eastern Elementary.

“We have a lot of new staff, as do many schools, but I think that brings an exuberance, and that’s been what I have already felt the last week we’ve been here,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to see the relationships these new staff members will build with students and what they will bring to our team as a whole. We’re looking forward to a fantastic school year.”

Pitt County students will be back in the classroom on Monday.