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Schools gear up for students' arrival

POSTED: August 7, 2014 12:59 a.m.

Parents and kids line up outside Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science for an open house.

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From students to principals to bus drivers, everyone has had a busy week preparing for the first day of school, which is today in the Gainesville district and Friday in Hall County.

Will Schofield, Hall schools superintendent, said school personnel have been busy all summer.

“Getting ready starts the day that the children go home in May,” he said. “There’s an awful lot that happens behind the scenes so we’re ready for those 27,000 boys and girls (when) they walk through the doors on Friday.”

Schofield said the district has been preparing its 150 new teachers, participating in professional development and making upgrades to its facilities, just to name a few of those behind-the-scenes activities.

He said of the 150 new teachers, 20 are in newly created positions.

“Our class sizes have continued to get larger over the last few years, and we’re finally starting to see that come down.”

This week, he said, teachers and administrators have been working to keep up with enrollment.

“There’s 27,000 schedules to tweak, there’s class sizes being balanced,” he said. “There are bus routes being balanced.”

In Gainesville, LaCrisia Larkin, principal of Gainesville High School, said many students have been busy over the summer as well.

“Our band has been here pretty much two weeks in advance,” she said. “Our cheerleaders are always busy during the summer. Our student council has been busy planning their full year.”

She said all kinds of student organizations have been on campus during the summer, from the yearbook staff to ROTC.

She said the athletic teams have been participating in camps, and some Gainesville High students have even been working in camps for younger kids.

Off campus, she said, clubs have been participating in out-of-state competitions.

Teachers and administrators have also been busy, she said.

Over the summer, they participated in professional development or taught summer school classes. After that, they returned to campus to prepare for open house, then for today’s rush of new students.

Schofield said all of the rush of activity is in pursuit of the same goal: creating the best possible schools for the students.

“We truly want to try to make Hall County School District the most caring place on earth,” he said.


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