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October 21, 2014
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Posted: Saturday, August 2nd 2014 at 9:00am

New facilities, enhanced security greet returning students

By Ken Stanford Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Construction continues on the campus of Jefferson High School. (Photo/Rob Moore)
Though some students in Georgia have already returned to the classroom, most of those in northeast Georgia will be going back over the next few days.

Classes have already resumed for those in the Barrow County and Jefferson City school systems, where the doors opened Friday, the earliest of any schools in the region. By next weekend, all public schools in the area will be back in session. As for the private schools in Hall County, the earliest start date is Aug. 8 for Chattahoochee Christian School. The latest is Aug. 25 for Riverside Military Academy.

And, in case you are wondering, there are school systems in the state where classes resumed before July ended. For instance, students in Rockdale County, east of Atlanta, already have a week's worth of work under their belt. Classes there resumed on Monday, one of the earliest start dates in the state.

As is the case every year, there were renovations and additions at a number of schools in the area over the summer - both major and minor in nature. In addition, some new facilities are ready for students while others are still under construction.

Barrow County has opened the Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology; in Gainesville, there was a total "make over" of the gym at Enota Elementary School and the gym floor at Gainesville High; Gwinnett County is opening two new schools - a middle school and a charter school; in Habersham County, a new Agri-Science Facility at the high school is expected to open during the school year; all Jackson County schools have undergone security upgrades; and, in Jefferson, a new high school arena is expected to open during the school year.

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Back to school at a glance:


*Name of school system: Banks County Schools

First day of school: August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 2,900

Increase/decrease over last year: no significant change

New schools, major renovations/additions: New superintendent - Stan Davis, Transfer of middle school principal to elementary school- Nancy Bentley, new middle school principal - former Chicopee Woods (Hall Co) principal - Hank Ramey. No new schools - renovation of track at high school stadium to be completed within next few months.


*Name of school system: Barrow County

First day of school: August 1

Projected first-day enrollment: Approximately 13,200

Increase/decrease over last year: We believe that we will increase by about 400 students from the previous year.

New schools, major renovations/additions: We will be opening Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology. This is our new career center. We have also completed major renovations at Bramlett Elementary School, Yargo Elementary School and Westside Middle School.


*Name of school system: Buford City

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: 4,000

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of approximately 200

New schools, major renovations/additions: None


*Name of school system: Commerce City

First day of school: Friday, August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 1,470

Increase/decrease over last year: Slight increase over last year's first day enrollment of 1,458

New schools, major renovations/additions: We do not have any new schools or additions.


*Name of school system: Dawson County

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: 3,495

Increase/decrease over last year: Flat

New schools, major renovations/additions: None


*Name of school system: Forsyth County

First day of school: August 7

Projected first-day enrollment: System does a 4th month projection 42,150 students

Increase/decrease over last year: 3.7% (we moved from 9th largest to 7th largest district in state last year)

New schools, major renovations/additions: None


*Name of school system: Gainesville City Schools

First Day of School: August 7

Projected Enrollment for 2014-2015: 7,863 + 180 Pre-K

Enrollment on 9/1/13 (last year): 7,660 (total includes Pre-K)

New schools, major renovations/additions: Extensive painting in buildings; a total gym floor re-do at Gainesville High School Gym Floor (re-paint, sand and re-coat); Enota Elementary School Gym, total re-do (install new ceiling, lighting, and the installation of a new wood floor with school logo), re-painting of gym, and new HVAC units. Centennial Arts Academy: refurbished bathrooms in the modular units, and installed new carpet through out the modular units. Improvements were also made to the annex shower room.


*Name of school system: Gwinnett County Public Schools

First day of school: Tuesday, August 5.

Projected first-day enrollment: 172,383 (Please note that they all won't
necessarily be here on the very first day. This is the enrollment
projection for the school year)

Increase/decrease over last year: Approximately 3,200 new students

New schools, major renovations/additions: As the school district welcomes
new students, two new schools will open their doors for the first time in
2014. One of the new schools is a middle school and the other is a charter
school serving students interested in the performing arts. With the opening
of these two new schools, the school district will operate 77 elementary
schools, 27 middle schools, 19 high schools, five charter schools, and six
special entities.

New schools opening August 2014:

Northbrook Middle
(Located in the Peachtree Ridge Cluster, students from Jackson Elementary
will feed into the new Northbrook Middle.)


*Name of School System: Habersham County

First Day of School - August 8

Projected first day enrollment - 7,000

Projected Increase/Decrease from Last Year - Slight increase of about 50 students

New schools, additions/major renovations: No new schools. We are in the process of constructing an new Agri-Science Facility at Habersham Central High School, which will open during the school year.


*Name of school system: Hall County School System

First day of school: August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: 27,374 Students (2013-14 year end count was 26,959)

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of approximately 415

New schools, major renovations/additions: No new schools. Renovations - East Hall High School: re-roofing and HVAC modifications, administration expansion, expansion of Blended Learning Academy into former construction lab.
Wauka Mtn Elementary, Riverbend Elementary, Chestatee Middle and Chestatee High: A/C kitchens. North Hall Middle: Re-roof 8th grade wing


*Name of school system: Jackson County Schools

First day of school: Friday, August 8

Projected first-day enrollment: Approximately 7,400

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of approximately 65 students

New schools, major renovations/additions: All of Jackson County Schools have had security upgrades completed over the summer. During school hours, parents and visitors will enter through the front access doors which will have intercom system for individuals to show identification prior to be being able to enter through a mag lock door system. This will provide increased security for all of our schools. Several schools had restroom and tile renovations, as well. We are adding a two story 25 classroom addition at West Jackson Intermediate School in Braselton. The construction is ahead of schedule and expected to be completed by July 1, 2015 for opening in August, 2015.


*Name of school system: Jefferson City

Students Report - August 1

Projected Enrollment - 3,200

Increase/decrease over last year: Increase of 140

New schools, major additions/renovations: A new Jefferson High School Arena is under construction and will open during the school year.


*Name of school system: Lumpkin County

First day of class: August 6

Projected enrollment: Unavailable

Increase/decrease over last year: Unavailable

New schools, major renovations/additions: Unavailable


*Name of school system: White County

First day of school: August 7

Projected Enrollment: 3,880

Increase/Decrease over last year: Stable from 2013-2014

New schools, additions, major renovations: None


Of the private schools in Hall County, North Georgia Christian School will begin the new school year on Aug. 11; Lakeview Academy, Aug. 20; Riverside Military Academy, Aug. 25; Maranatha Christian Academy, Aug. 14; Heritage Academy, Aug.11; Chattahoochee Christian School, Aug. 8; and, Gainesville Homeschool Academy, Aug. 12.

(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.)

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