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Chestatee open house helps students, teachers, parents calm jitters
Middle and elementary schools to hold open houses Thursday, Friday
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Stuart and Dena Blackshear check the bus schedule board Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, at Chestatee High School during open house for students and parents for the upcoming school year. - photo by Scott Rogers

The start of a new school year can breed a lot of anxiety for students, teachers and administrators.

But let’s not forget the nerves that parents feel, too.

That’s what made the open house night at Chestatee High School on Wednesday, Aug. 1, so beneficial — it was a chance to alleviate concerns, answer questions and prepare families for what lies ahead for their child.

“It’s a great opportunity to come in, meet his teachers, get refreshed with the hallways and learn his way around the place again,” said Stuart Blackshear.

His son, Cody, is entering the 10th grade well ahead of the curve.

Cody is already in a dual-enrollment program studying the culinary arts. He said it’s a chance to find out what’s possible in his life.

“I’m trying to get into a career path,” Cody added. 

The night before, Cody prepared a meal for his parents.

“He loves to cook,” Dena, his mother, said. “Nobody tried to lead me … and show me new stuff.”

This message couldn’t be better sold if it came from Ben Corley, assistant principal, himself.

With the 2018-19 school year starting Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Open house gives administrators the chance to begin the annual process of working together to solve problems, educate students and prepare them for the next stages in life, Corley said.

“It’s about continuing to build relationships with our community,” he added.  

Students received their class schedules, bus transport information, and costs for things like P.E. uniforms and lunches. 

For the family of Amber Dale, 16, a special-needs student entering 11th grade, Chestatee has built a safe and constructive environment to meet her educational aspirations.

Open house served as a reminder of what they’ve come to expect from the school.

“It makes you feel a lot safer when you have that connection,” Amber’s mother, Debbie, said. “They go out of their way.”

For example, Debbie receives text messages from the school letting her know when to expect Amber’s bus to arrive for school and when she’s expected to return home.

Amber’s older brother, Dustin Smith, said Chestatee students are great in supporting Amber and other special-needs students.

“They treat her like the others,” he said.

For Tamar Cardiel, 15, who is entering the 10th grade, open house was helpful to get acquainted with her new teachers and understand what supplies she would need for various classes.

“They teach us well and it’s a safe school,” Cardiel said.

That’s something her mother, Juanita, said she appreciates. 

“Muy tranquilo,” she said in Spanish about the school, which translates to “very calm.” 

Open house dates for Hall County Schools

  • 4-7 p.m. Aug. 2 for all middle schools
  • 3-6 p.m. Aug. 3 for all elementary schools 

Regional events