Teachers and students weren't the only ones eager to show up at Jockey Hollow for the first day of school Tuesday. School staff found a bat, who beat them there, sleeping atop a bulletin board on the second floor of the building at 365 Fan Hill Road.
A custodian trapped the animal in a bucket and brought it outside for a Monroe Animal Control officer to pick up. Animal control said the specimen will be tested for rabies on Friday as a precaution.
Principal Jack Ceccolini informed parents of the incident in a letter that went out about the first day of school.
"A bat was observed at Main Campus in the hall atop a bulletin board," he wrote. "The animal was removed and Animal Control has taken the bat for testing. No students were in contact with the animal."
As a precaution, Ceccolini told them an exterminator was hired by the district to determine how the animal entered the building and to ensure there are no others.
"Should any further information need to be shared I will notify you immediately," Ceccolini wrote.
An animal control officer told Patch she suggested that school custodians check vents and other possible points of entry at the school and to make sure no windows are left open at night.
Overall, Ceccolini said Jockey Hollow enjoyed a successful first day.
"Jockey Hollow School (Main Campus and STEM Academy) students had a wonderful first day of the new year," he wrote in the letter. "Aside from a few bus delays and minor bus issues the day ran very smoothly. It was great to see the children enter school with smiles and enthusiasm. Students departed at the end of the day chatting with friends and displaying positive attitudes.
"We appreciate your continued support of your child’s education and Jockey Hollow School. We look forward to another outstanding school year."