Columbia County launches another school year today and students will be greeted by a new dress code.
The county-wide dress code limits how short skirts, dresses and short pants can be, as well as outlawing sandals without back straps. Administrators say it will tighten up what was a laxness in dress conduct.
Some students said they had to go out and revamp their wardrobe to meet the guidelines.
"We're really mad," said Evans High sophomore Nicole Stansbury, who made sure the new corduroy dress she'll wear today was not three inches above the knee as the rule prohibits. "A lot of my friends had to get all new clothes because of it."
The county's three new schools, Greenbrier High, Euchee Creek Elementary and Greenbrier Elementary, totaling $27 million, open today and are expected to be complete except for a few areas.
A section of Greenbrier High's floor probably won't be fully complete for a couple more weeks. Euchee Creek students will eat box lunches until the cafeteria is ready, which could be as early as Tuesday.
School officials are expecting the system to grow by 400 to 500 new students, which should push their projections to the edge, but likely won't require significant re-directing of staff, Assistant Superintendent Tommy Price said.
There was some concern late last week that the school system had made projections too low and that a large influx of students would require more teachers and funds.
"We feel we're going to come in pretty close to the numbers we expected," Mr. Price said.
Mr. Price said he doesn't expect any major problems on the first day, but with the new school openings and new school zones taking shape, the usual bus-route glitches will probably have to be ironed out during the first week or so.
"We just ask people to be patient," Mr. Price said.