Some 13,000 students are expected to start class in the Barrow County School System when school doors open on Monday.
Among the many changes in store for Barrow students are:
•New start and end time for students, with younger children arriving later and older students arriving earlier. Elementary school students will begin their day at 8:30 a.m. and end their day at 3:30 p.m. Middle and high school students will start their day at 7:20 a.m., with middle schoolers ending the day at 2:30 p.m. and high school ending at 2:50 p.m.
•Class periods will be longer, but the overall calendar will be just 160 days due to cost cutting.
•Changes in school leadership with six new principals.
•Report cards for K-5th Grade will be different with fewer letter grades and more lingo such as “exceeds” or “not meet” expectations the key measurements.
•A new state curriculum will be in place called “common core,” meaning various changes in what is taught and when it is taught.
•Even the food at school is changing due to new federal guidelines that call for more fruits, vegetables and milk varieties in schools.
In part due to the shorter school year, superintendent Wanda Creel said that the system would be stressing the importance of attendance and called on parents to be prepared to adjust their schedules to get their kids to school frequently and on time.
“Our motto is, ‘Every minute of every day counts’ and our parents have to help us realize that,” she said. “We are going to have to have parents who say (to their children), ‘You’re not laying out today.’ It is going to be that parents adjust their schedules and we don’t go to some of these appointments and we don’t take trips. Every minute of every day counts… We have a number of days we’re not in school and those 160 days are critical. We have to have those children in school in order to be able to teach them.”
For the full story, see the Aug. 8 issue of the Barrow Journal.