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Start of 180 days of learning begins
Screven County Schools Superintendent William Bland and school administrators say the beginning to this new school year has been one of the better ones.
“I would say we have had an excellent start of school, probably the best we’ve had,” Bland said 2017-2018 year that began on Monday at the elementary, middle and high schools. The Community Christian School also began its campaign Monday.
“I want to thank the teachers, administrators, and all the support staff for making this possible,” Bland said.
The superintendent said one of the focus areas this year will be at the elementary school as plans are in place to reduce students being tardy to school and early dismissals.
“This is very disruptive to the classrooms and truly affects all students learning,” Bland said. “We ask that parents have students to school on time and refrain from signing out their child early.”
SCES principal Brett Warren said his school is ready for the year.
“We have had a solid start to the school year,” Warren said. “The staff has worked extremely hard to get ready and it shows in their classrooms. Everyone seems to be excited about being back at work. We have many new faces around the place.”
Warren said SCES is trying hard to protect instructional time.
“Our grade levels teach right up to dismissal time,” Warren said. “Last year we had over 7,000 tardies to school and over 12,000 early dismissals. Every time one these happen it is disruptive to the classroom.
“Our hope is to curtail these numbers and let the teachers teach,” Warren said. “We are asking that if parents want to see their child’s teacher they make an appointment a day ahead of time. Our teachers just don’t have the time to drop what they are doing to meet with parents during the school day. Our teachers are engaged with their students beginning at 7:30 every day and their boss wants them to use every minute of instruction time with the students.
“Time is our enemy,” he said. “We don’t mind meeting or calling parents, but we can’t neglect our classroom responsibilities.”
Warren said early dismissals will stop at 2:10 p.m. each day. Last year there would be a line of people out the door to pick students up early just to miss traffic.
“So after 2:10, we will not release students early unless students have a doctor’s appointment or family emergency,” he said. “Lastly, we are requiring picture ID when checking out students. This is to ensure the safety of our students. We hope these procedures, which are in our student handbook, help cut down on overall classroom disruptions.
“We are going to have a great year!” he said.
High school principal Brian Scott said the year has started well.
“We have had an excellent first couple of days at SCHS,” Scott said. “Our students have arrived ready to go to work and our teachers have been very complimentary of our students. We are looking forward to having an excellent school year.”
Bobby Costlow, the middle school principal, used phrases like “smooth as silk,” “kids engaged,” “good behavior,” “teachers happy with their days,” and “good start.”