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Back-to-school information for Richmond County

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FIRST DAY

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Raven Wilson, 5, sits in the lap of her mother, Jennifer, as she prepares to receive her back-to-school immunization shot from nurse Alicia Murdock at the Richmond County Health Department.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Raven Wilson, 5, sits in the lap of her mother, Jennifer, as she prepares to receive her back-to-school immunization shot from nurse Alicia Murdock at the Richmond County Health Department.

Richmond County students and teachers return to the classroom Aug. 12.

REGISTRATION

Registration will be held Thursday at every elementary and middle school.

Carol Rountree, the assistant superintendent for student services, said registration should be routine for returning students, but anyone new must bring proof of address, last year’s report card, and documentation for proof of applicable school choice or zone exceptions.

Parents who cannot attend the registration sessions Thursday can contact their schools’ principals to set up an appointment before school begins.

Registration is important for making sure information is up-to-date and the school has contact information.

Middle school orientation for new students and sixth-graders will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the schools.

Open houses will be held at 6 p.m. Friday for elementary schools, at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 for middle schools and at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 for high schools.

IMMUNIZATIONS

Immunizations are required for all children entering school between the ages of 4 and 6 and any students new to Georgia.

Children entering pre-kindergarten or kindergarten must have a 3300 form filled out, which is a hearing, vision and dental screening.

Parents have 30 days from the start of school to get their children’s vaccinations up to date.

Here is what’s required:

• Four to five doses of DTaP

• Four doses of polio

• Two doses varicella

• Two doses MMR

• Four to five pnumococcal

• Two hepatitis A

• Four Hib

The Richmond County Health Department is holding back-to-school clinics:

• 950 Laney-Walker Blvd.; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays until Aug. 16. After Aug. 16 you can walk in between 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

• 2420 Windsor Spring Road; 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 7 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, 8 to 10:30 a.m. Friday

BUS ROUTES

Transportation Director Jimmie Wiley said the goal is to get all students to school on time. Parents can help the process by the following tips:

• Visit www.rcboe.org to find your child’s bus route, school zone and bus information.

• Make sure students have identification information with them (name, parent name, contact numbers and address).

• Arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus arrives.

• Parents, remember it is illegal to attempt to detain a school bus.

• Parents, do not try to board the bus.

The transportation department is recruiting and training new bus drivers.

Wiley said the department is doing “everything humanly possible” to have one driver assigned to the roughly 150 bus routes.

Regular education drivers will be picking up route information and practicing the routes Monday and Tuesday.

Special education drivers will be running their routes Wednesday to get ready for the first day.

FREE MEALS

Breakfast and lunch will be served at no charge to all Richmond County students beginning this year.

The Richmond County Board of Education opted in to the Community Eligibility Option, a federal program created under President Obama’s 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The program reimburses for meals in school districts that have a high percentage of low-income students. Georgia is one of 11 states piloting the program before it opens nationwide for the 2014-15 school year.

In addition to providing free meals, the program eliminates the need for families to fill out applications for free and reduced-price meals.

Last year, 78 percent of students received free or reduced-price lunches. The remaining who paid for meals will be saving $352 per year per student in elementary school and $396 per year for middle and high school.

NEW LEADERS

Some schools have had a change in leadership since the end of last school year.

• Pamela Jones is the new assistant principal at T.W. Josey High.

• Johnnie Wright is the new assistant principal at George P. Butler High.

ON THE MOVE

Students at Lucy C. Laney High and Murphey Middle schools will be uprooted so multimillion-dollar makeovers can begin.

Murphey students and staff will be relocated to the vacant Tubman Middle School on Bungalow Road.

Laney will use the Tubman Education Center on Walton Way.

To make room for Laney, the roughly 150 students and 100 staff members who make up the alternative program housed at Tubman Education Center will have to relocate to the old Lamar Elementary School.

When the board of education approved the moves in May, there was controversy about disturbing the alternative program.

Officials said it was the most logical arrangement, because Lamar has a capacity of about 400 – enough to accommodate the alternative program but too small for Laney’s population of more than 600.

Each construction project is expected to take about two years to complete.


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