WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Teachers and staff at D.C. Virgo were prepared and ready to open their doors as the first public K-8 school in Wilmington on Wednesday.
The school announced last fall they would open the lab school in partnership with UNCW and add kindergarten through fifth grades.
Sabrina Hill-Black, the principal at D.C. Virgo, said the new partnership brought lots of new excitement, but that the faculty was focused on continuing strong academic work.
"Families know that when children come to school, children are our first job," said Hill-Black. "We want them to continue to build on their literacy skills and build on any educational foundation that they may need to move on to higher learning."
Donyell Roseboro, an Associate Dean with UNCW, said the past year involved a lot of planning and brainstorming to create a new model of education.
"The ideas that community members bring, the ideas that teachers brought to the table, the ideas that our colleagues at UNCW brought to the table, that synergy and that excitement is what inspires me and inspires all of us every day," she said.
Hill-Black added the school will focus on collegiate level goals and hopefully push children towards higher learning.
"Being a part of the UNCW family will give us an opportunity to visit a four-year campus and to see the school that sits within their community," she said. "Hopefully it will allow them to see that this is a collegiate path you can begin as early as kindergarten."
Roseboro expected the first day of school to be a very emotional one after the year of hard work.
"I think about the kindergartners because it is still just kindergarten for them," she said. "It is a big deal. They don't really know that this is a new school process, and that we went through all this sweat and work to pull it together. What they care about is that their teacher loves them, and that their teacher means well and is going to teach them to the best of his or her abilities."
Leaders with the school said they are still accepting some applications. For more information on D.C. Virgo click here.