2010-08-05 / Front Page

School bells ring on three campuses Aug. 9

Approximately 1,300 Lincoln County students are buying new book bags, shopping for tennis shoes, and sharpening pencils in preparation for Monday, August 9, the first day of the 2010-2011 school year.

Local residents should note that the first day of school is contingent upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy to LCHS by the fire marshal, who will be visiting the campus today (Thursday). Nevertheless, local authorities have confidence that the new facility will receive the certificate.

“We are looking forward to the start of another school year,” said School Superintendent Randall Edmunds. “Even though state funding has been cut, we still anticipate a productive year and expect to maintain good standardized test scores, while improving our scores in the weaker areas.”

In fact, this marks the eighth consecutive year that LCES and LCMS, both Title I schools, have made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). After failing to meet the state standards in 2009, LCHS, also a Title I school, and consequently, the system as a whole made AYP this year.

In other remarks, Dr. Edmunds said, “We probably have the best teachers, administrators, and staff we’ve ever had. They are all very capable and dedicated. This promises to be an excellent school year.”

He went on to add that students, faculty, and staff are definitely excited about starting school in the brand-new high school, located on Charles Ward Elam Street, off of Metasville Road.

“We believe the new campus will provide a good learning environment for students. We’re anxious to get into the building and get underway. The new facility certainly represents a milestone in the history of Lincoln County Schools.”

Concerning additional back-toschool information, the superintendent informed parents and students that breakfast will not be served the first day of school but that the program will resume on Tuesday, August 10, beginning at 7:30 a.m. LCES, 7:45 a.m. at LCMS, and 7:25 a.m. at LCHS.

Moreover, breakfast and lunch prices will remain the same as last year, with regular breakfasts at all three campuses costing 75 cents and reduced breakfasts, 30 cents. Regular lunches will cost $1.50 at LCES and $1.75 at LCMS and LCHS. Reduced lunches will cost 40 cents each of the three campuses.

In her remarks on the first day of school, LCES Principal Marilyn Bell noted that homeroom begins at 7:45 a.m. “This is when we take attendance, and students view ‘The Morning Show,’ which includes ‘Math Facts.’ It is important that all children be present.”

She indicated that parents and students may arrive on campus as early as 7:30 a.m. “Allow yourself up to 30 minutes to get your child settled in his classroom on the first day of school. Students who arrive after 7:55 a.m. will be considered tardy because classes start at 8 a.m.”

Once again, car riders will unload at the front door of the school, and law enforcement officers will be on hand to direct traffic.

Bell assured new students and their parents that the congestion decreases about two weeks after the beginning of school. Usually, the morning routine for car riders takes five minutes or less.

Likewise, parents are asked to pick up their children in accordance with the following schedule: Pre-K and kindergarten, 2:35 p.m.; grades one and two, 2:40 p.m.; and grades three and four, 2:45 p.m. Buses will abide by the same schedule.

The principal also reminded parents of the open house the school is hosting for grades Pre-K through 4 from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 6.

“This is an excellent opportunity for parents and students to meet teachers and tour our campus,” Bell said. “In addition, parents may join the PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization) at this time.”

In further remarks, Principal Bell said she is eagerly anticipating the beginning of a new school year. “We have many challenging learning opportunities planned for our students, and we’re ready to get underway.”

She said the school will implement a new schedule this year to accommodate various intervention and enrichment initiatives. “These will increase achievement for all students.”

Another change taking place at LCES and LCMS this year is the establishment of a Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) program. The goal of the program is to promote and maximize behavioral competence and academic achievement, while establishing a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

Educators at both schools will be teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for living up to them. In essence, teachers and administrators will focus on acknowledging appropriate behavior rather than constantly correcting inappropriate behavior.

In conclusion, Principal Bell stated, “LCES is a good school, and we’re making a great deal of progress every year. We have a long-standing tradition of excellence, and we want to keep that tradition alive.

“With the help of parents and the people in the community, we can make LCES the best elementary school in Georgia. We very much appreciate the support of our parents and community.”

Two of the new faces that will be seen at LCES this year are those of Mark Smith and Candace McGriff, both physical education teachers.

In news from LCMS, Principal Pam Carmichael informed parents that the school will host its annual open house from 6 to 8:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

Students and their parents are invited to visit the school to meet teachers, obtain class schedules available in the school cafeteria, locate the various classrooms, purchase P.E. uniforms, and so forth. Parents may likewise join the LCMS PTP (Parent- Teacher Partnership).

Carmichael pointed out that regular grade-level orientation will take place during school hours.

As required by state law, parents need to make sure their child has had the immunizations necessary to enter middle school.

According to the principal, the first day of school will start off with all students reporting to the gymnasium at 8:15 a.m. for an assembly. They will then meet their first period teachers and be escorted to class. To help things move along smoothly, teachers will be on duty beginning at 7:40 a.m.

“We are looking forward to a great year,” stated Principal Carmichael. “With the high school moving to the new campus, we will have the school all to ourselves, which will enable us to focus on age-appropriate activities and events. It’s like we’re getting a new school, too.

“A lot of good things will be going on as we continue to strive for excellence.”

Concerning excellence, six LCMS teachers were ranked in the top 10 in the state on the basis of CRCT (Criterion Referenced Competency Tests) scores.

“We have a wonderful staff that is deeply committed to the education and well being of our students,” said Carmichael. “We’re all excited about the beginning of another school year.”

In other items of information, it was noted that at both LCMS and LCHS, each student will be issued a student handbook the first day of school. In addition to serving as a hall pass, the handbook contains information, rules, and policies such as the attendance protocol, the dress code, and a revised code of conduct that students and parents should be familiar with.

In fact, parents or guardians are required to sign special tear-out pages in the handbook and return them to the school. Their signature serves as an acknowledgment that (1) they have read the handbook and the attendance protocol and (2) they agree to allow their child to use the Internet at school and are acquainted with the rules governing this privilege.

In further news, LCHS Principal Becky Barden invited the community to a ribbon cutting and open house to be held at the new school on Saturday, August 7, beginning at 10 a.m. Then, from 1 until 2:30 p.m., there will be an open house just for parents and students.

“We are very excited about the new facility,” stated the principal. “It will be an awesome experience for our students to have the opportunity to attend a state-of-the-art high school.

“The faculty and staff at LCHS are anticipating a wonderful school year.”

Regarding the purchase of parking permits, the schedule is as follows:

.. Seniors: August 10-13, from 7 until 7:50 a.m. in the high school office.

.. Juniors: August 16-20, from 7 until 7:50 a.m. each day.

.. Sophomores and others: August 23-27, from 7 until 7:50 a.m.

The cost is $25 for the first nine weeks.

As for the first day of school, Dr. Barden indicated that students are to report directly to their first period class; class schedules will be available in the foyer.

She pointed out that for safety reasons, students may gain access to the school building no earlier than 7:25 a.m. Students who arrive earlier than 7:50 a.m. are asked to proceed directly to the lunchroom.

Moreover, buses will drop off and pick up students at their rear of the building, while car riders will utilize the front of the school.

“Parents and students should allow extra time for increased traffic during the first few weeks of school,” stated Barden.

In other remarks, she welcomed the following teachers to LCHS: Kate Abbey, special education and language arts; Mike Doolittle, P.E.; Stephanie Jordan, technology; Jeff Little, construction; Terry Stephens, special education and history; and Amy Wheeler, science.

In conclusion, Dr. Barden urged parents to get involved in their child’s education and school activities and to talk with their child’s teachers and guidance counselor on a regular basis.

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