Published Friday, August 03, 2012
By REBECCA LEFTWICH
Coweta County School System teachers were busy setting up classrooms and planning lessons this week as pre-planning began Wednesday, and students will have a chance to meet their teachers and tour their schools during orientation sessions today.
Orientation times are:
• All middle schools: 10 a.m.-noon
• All elementary schools: noon-2 p.m.
• All high schools: 2-4 p.m.
Students return to class for the 2012-13 school year Monday. Teachers will not be available for formal conferences during today's orientation sessions, but school visits will allow parents and students to locate classrooms and meet teachers, principals and other staff members.
Representatives from the Coweta school system's Transportation Department will also be available during orientation to provide information about bus routes for the new school year. Routes are posted at Times-Herald.com. For more information parents may also check www.cowetaschools.org — the school system website.
School officials are urging Cowetans to leave home early on the first day of school and to expect a higher volume of traffic on Coweta roads. Students who will ride the bus on the first day of school are advised to be at their neighborhood bus stop no later than 6:55 a.m. not only on Aug. 6 but for the first full week of school.
“It always takes the first day or two for everyone to get used to school traffic,” said school system transportation manager Judy Gresham. “We ask that everyone keep in mind that buses will be on the road again on Aug. 6, making stops in the morning and dropping students off in the afternoons. Everyone should leave a little earlier for work and school, drive safely, and be mindful of buses and children.”
Regular morning pick-up times will become predictable as routes are established in the new year. Bus ridership is impossible to predict on the first day of school, so transportation officials say parents and students should be prepared for a longer wait at the bus stop during the first days.
Bus pick-up sites have remained largely unchanged since last school year. If a home is on a street or cul-de-sac of two-tenths of a mile or less in length, students should wait for the bus on the nearest street corner. If a subdivision street or other neighborhood street is longer than two-tenths of a mile long, bus stops are generally spaced about one-tenth of a mile apart, based on ridership. If parents are unsure about pick-up sites for the school bus, or have other questions, they can call the transportation department at 770-254-2820 or check with the transportation officials present at their children's school orientations.
One significant change in school transportation this year will take place at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School. Buses will pick up and drop off behind the school, while car riders will be routed to the front of the school – accessed by the Highway 34 bypass.
Typically, school enrollment and bus ridership grow over the first weeks of school. The department will address problems such as crowding on some buses, double bus routes and route changes as quickly as possible in the first weeks of August. Coweta County School System asks parents to be patient during the first weeks of school as these changes are made.
Interested parents also may register their children for the After School Program in Coweta elementary schools today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
All registrations will be conducted by the ASP Site Coordinator in each school’s cafeteria. To enroll, parents must pay a $20 non-refundable registration fee for each child. Tuition will remain the same next year at $12 per day, and tuition payments made by Friday prior to the week of attendance are $9 per day reserved.
The Coweta County After School Program is a self-supported daycare program held at all Coweta County elementary schools. Children are offered indoor/ outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, homework time, and a variety of other activities during after-school care.
The hours of operation are 2:30-6 p.m. on each day school is in session. Spaces are limited, and parents are urged to pre-enroll students to ensure placement.