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Posted: Saturday, July 27th 2013 at 11:34am

Enhanced security, new Fair St. school highlight back to school in Gainesville area

By Ken Stanford Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
click to enlarge
One of the entrances to the still-under-construction Fair Street IB World School in Gainesville. City school officials plan to move students into the new facilities Oct. 16. The 2013-14 school year begins Aug. 12 for students in the Gainesville City School System.
Enhanced security along with classroom, lunchroom and other additions are among the things awaiting many north Georgia students who begin returning to class next week. And, while it won't be ready for them when Fair Street students in the Gainesville City School System head back to classes on August 12, they should be in their new school before Halloween.

Friday is the first day of the new school year in the Jefferson City School System - the earliest start date for any of the systems and private schools in Hall County that AccessNorthGa.com tracks each year at this time.

But classes in Habersham County won't start until August 15, the latest of any of the public systems. Among private schools, Chattahoochee Christian has the earliest start date, Aug. 6, and Riverside Military Academy the latest, Aug. 25.

The systems reporting enhanced security at their schools are Hall and Habersham. Hall County says it will have "security" entrances at all middle and high schools system-wide when classes begin August 12. Habersham County school officials say "security" entrances, including cameras, have been installed at all schools. In addition, "access control" for the "perimeter" doors has been installed at Habersham Central High School.

In Gainesville, city school officials have announced that they plan to move into the the new Fair Street International Baccalaureate (IB) World School on October 16. Fair Street students have been attending classes at Wood's Mill Academy since the old Fair Street facilities were torn down last year and work began on the new school. Moving the Fair Street students back to their own school will have a ripple affect on Wood's Mill and some of the other schools in the city system. (Details below.)

Work on the new school began last spring with shortly after the existing facilities were torn down. Plans to tear the school down and replace it were explained at a Nov. 2009 meeting with parents and others. The last classes in the old complex were held May 24, 2011, and in July of that year, former teachers, students and others gathered for a "Farewell to Fair Street" and to reflect on the school's history.

Fair Street dates back 76 years and was, for a long time, all-black until schools in Gainesville were integrated in the 1960s.

Back to school at a glance:

BANKS COUNTY

Name of school system: Banks County School System

First day of school: August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 2,864

Increase/decrease over last year: None

New schools, major renovations/additions: New ninth grade wing and agricultural lab.

BARROW COUNTY

Name of school system: Barrow County Schools

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: 13,200

Increase/decrease over last year: 1.5-3 percent increase

New schools, major renovations/additions: Bear Creek Middle School replaces what was Winder-Barrow Middle School. Winder-Barrow Middle School will no longer be serving students. Bear Creek Middle will serve the students that were previously served by Winder-Barrow Middle School.

BUFORD CITY

Name of school system: Buford City Schools

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: 3,850

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of about 200

New schools, major renovations/additions: None

COMMERCE CITY

Name of school system: Commerce City Schools

First day of school: August 9

Projected first-day enrollment: 1,475

Increase/decrease over last year: 36-student increase

New schools, major renovations/additions: None

DAWSON COUNTY

Name of school system: Dawson County School System

First day of school: August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 3,490

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 65 students

New schools, major renovations/additions: The Dawson County Board of Education will be moving into a newly purchased and renovated facility.

FORSYTH COUNTY

Name of school system: Forsyth County Schools

First day of school: August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 40,306

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 1,183 students

New schools, major renovations/additions: None

GAINESVILLE

First day of school: August 12

Projected Enrollment: 7.800

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 300 students

New: Wood's Mill Academy will expand the middle grades program (6-8) with an enrollment of 60 students. Both Wood's Mill high school and middle school programs will expand further during the second semester after Fair Street IB World School students move to their new location. Gainesville High School's ROTC program is expanding and will occupy the west wing of the current Wood's Mill building.

The Wood's Mill Alternative Learning Academy has been discontinued. Replacing it is a city-wide Gainesville Alternative Learning Academy to serve primarily middle and high schools.

Fair Street IB School is planned to open for students on Wednesday, October 16. After their move, Gainesville High School will expand to the 12-unit building adjacent to its band room.

GWINNETT COUNTY

Name of school system: Gwinnett County Public Schools

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: 166,667

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 1,691

New schools, major renovations/additions: While there are no new schools opening this year, two existing schools are moving to new locations. GIVE Center West, an alternative school, will relocate to its new facility located at 5550 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Norcross. Gwinnett Online
Campus will relocate to a district facility in Lawrenceville located at 713 Hi-Hope Road.

HABERSHAM COUNTY

Name of school system: Habersham County Schools

First day of school: August 15

Projected first-day enrollment: 6,950

Increase/decrease over last year: Projections the same as last year

New schools, major renovations/additions: We have installed security entrances at all schools; security cameras are in place at all schools, including elementary schools; Access control for the perimeter doors has been installed at Habersham Central High School.

Plans are to begin a school within a school with the Habersham Success Academy located at the Habersham Ninth Grade Academy. This Success Academy will target students who applied to attend and may benefit from a non-traditional high school setting. The Success Academy will also house the Alternative School.

The Habersham County School System will also open a renovated cannery in the gym space at the Old Fairview Elementary School Site. This cannery will be a food processing lab which will provide service to the county and surrounding counties and will provide learning opportunities for students in the Agri-Science Program. The food processing lab will be staffed by our Agri-Science Instructors and a retired Agri-Science Instructor. Both North Habersham and South Habersham Middle Schools will have complete roof replacements this summer and HVAC upgrades.

The auditorium at Habersham Ninth Grade Academy will have HVAC upgrades to two units this summer.

HALL COUNTY

Name of school system: Hall County School System

First day of school: August 12

Projected first-day enrollment: 26,693

Increase/decrease over last year: 550

New schools, major renovations/additions:

Security entrances at all middle and high schools system-wide

Stadium lighting upgrades at Johnson, West Hall, North Hall and East Hall High Schools

Johnson High School cafeteria addition

North Hall High STEM facility modifications

HVAC system upgrades at Spout Springs and Mt. Vernon Elementary Schools

Roof replacement at Mt. Vernon Elementary School

HVAC additions in kitchens at Friendship, Martin, Myers and Oakwood Elementary Schools

JACKSON COUNTY

Name of school system: Jackson County Schools

First day of school: August 9

Projected first-day enrollment: approximately 7,400

Increase/decrease over last year: increase of approximately 70 students

New schools, major renovations/additions: The Jackson County Comprehensive High School Panther Project is complete (new state of the art Drama Building and new Gymnasium)

JEFFERSON CITY

Name: Jefferson City School System

Beginning Dates: August 2

Projected Enrollment: 3,013

Increase Over Last Year: Increase of 106

Building Projects: Jefferson High School: New classroom building and kitchen
Jefferson Elementary School: New classroom wing, kitchen and
cafeteria.

Note: A new Jefferson High School gymnasium is under construction. It is due to open during the 2014-2015 school year.

LUMPKIN COUNTY

Name of school system: Lumpkin County

First day of school: August 9

Projected first-day enrollment: Unavailable

Increase/decrease over last year: Unavailable

New schools, major renovations/additions: Unavailable

WHITE COUNTY

Name of school system: White County

First day of school: August 6

Projected first-day enrollment: 3,915

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 46 students

New schools, major renovations/additions: None

Of the private schools in Hall County, information on their websites shows that North Georgia Christian School will begin the new school year on Aug. 12; Lakeview Academy, Aug. 21; Riverside Military Academy, Aug. 25; Maranatha Christian Academy, Aug. 16; Heritage Academy, Aug. 12; and Chattahoochee Christian School, Aug. 6.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The information for this story was provided by the school superintendents or other officials in each public school system, except Lumpkin County, whose website was the source of the start date for that system. Information on the start date for private schools came from each school's website.)

(Other past and present members of the AccessNorthGa.com news staff contributed to this story.)
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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