Education

Students should start waving goodbye to summer vacation and hello to books because August has finally reared its head and brought school with it.

Even though no one wants to wake up at 6 a.m. on a hot August morning starting this coming Tuesday, some things do change. Each school has an updated calendar and rules to go with it.

Teachers reported back last week on Tuesday with new teacher orientation, and all educators were getting their classrooms ready for the start of the new year, and the students are back after the beginning of this week on Tuesday morning.

Something that parents and students should remember are some of the basic rules as they head back to class, and though not all of those guidelines have been officially approved by the Board of Education, they should be by the time school begins on Aug. 8. It’ll continue through the upcoming months when students will eventually get to return to summer vacation in the distant future of May 25, 2018.

Upcoming breaks will give local students a chance to take a break. Students will be off for Labor Day at the beginning of September, and then not long after they’ll get several more opportunities for weeks off during the school year.

Fall Break only lasts from Oct. 11 - Oct. 16 this year, but Thanksgiving break and Christmas break last 9 and 16 days respectively.

Spring break is from April 9 to April 16.

Also parents should note the the dress code is technically pending, but students will likely be expected to adhere to the usual rules such as no rips or tears in pants, no spaghetti-straps, finger-tip length pants, no profanity or drug references on clothing, no tank-tops, etc.

Here’s a handy guide for the rest of the school systems and any changes that have happened over the summer that parents and students should know before heading back to class.

Also, visit www.polk.k12.ga.us to find the rest of the school system’s calendar, including dates and times this week for visits to classrooms ahead of the start of the school year.

Eastside Elementary

Like last year, car riders in K-5th grade are expected to be dropped off at the front of the school. Bus riders will be taken to the side of the school and dropped off only when an adult is outside supervising. Students are expected to arrive no earlier than 7:15 but are tardy after 8:00a.m. Pre-K students will be dismissed at 2:30p.m; 1-5th graders will be dismissed at 3:00p.m. Your child's identification card is expected to be displayed in your car window until the child is loaded.

Northside Elementary

Car riders are, again, only to be picked up and dropped off at the front of the school. Students are not allowed to arrive at school before 7:20a.m and homeroom begins at 7:50a.m. Students are deemed tardy starting at 8:00a.m. Pre-K students are dismissed at at 2:30p.m; 1-5th graders are dismissed at 3:00p.m. Like the other elementary schools, parents must have an identification card in the window until the child is loaded.Bus numbers will be called over the school's intercom, and the child should stay inside until his or her bus number is called.

Van Wert Elementary

Like Northside, students are expected to arrive no earlier than 7:20 and no later than 8:00a.m. At Vanwert, tardy students must have an adult sign them into the office. As usual, car riders are only allowed to be dropped off and picked up at the front of the school. Dismissal for Pre-K begins at 2:45p.m; other students are dismissed at 3:05p.m. Students who are not picked up by 3:45p.m will be sent to After School Care. Bus riders are expected to wait inside until they hear their bus number over the intercom.

Westside Elementary

At Westside, car riders are expected to be dropped off and picked up only at the back of the school. 7:20a.m is the earliest a student is allowed to arrive and any student present after 7:50 is considered tardy. Pre-K students are dismissed at 2:45p.m and all other students are dismissed at 3:05p.m. Pre-K students with a grade level sibling will be dismissed at 3:05p.m. Parents must have identification of student visible in the car until the child is loaded. Bus riders are required to wait inside until their bus number is called.

At Westside, numerous clubs are offered. Students can join student council, Morning Show Crew, FCA, Beta Club, and Robotics.

Youngs Grove Elementary

Youngs Grove Students who are car riders are expected to be dropped off at the front of the school before 8:00a.m and after 7:20a.m. Youngs Grove insists that parents encourage independence in their children and are requesting that children be dropped off without assistance. Instead of walking them to the building everyday, try to teach them to walk themselves. Homeroom will begin at 8:00a.m and Pre-K is dismissed at 2:45p.m. 1-5th graders are dismissed 3:00a.m. Like Westside, Pre-K students with grade level siblings will be dismissed alongside the grade level student. Bus riders are to stay inside until their bus numbers are called.

Cedartown Middle School

The school day is once again slated to last from 7:50a.m-3:20p.m. Students are not allowed to be dropped off at the school before 7:05a.m, and the office will be open from 7:15a.m to 4:00p.m. Car riders will be dropped off at the circular drive in the back of the school. Drivers should enter school from the Collard Valley Road entrance. Bus riders will be dropped off at the school, and like car riders, are expected to immediately go to gym where they will sit in their designated spots separated by class and gender. Dismissal in the afternoons for car riders begins at approximately 3:25. Car riders will walk down the 600 hall on the right hand side where they will be divided according to grade level and will await their ride underneath the awning. After the first load of buses depart, cars should exit from Collard Valley Road (back of the school.)

Lockers at CMS cost $8 and are available as soon as paper work is done. Students are forbidden from writing, sticking, or attaching things to the locker. Sharing lockers is forbidden.

Rockmart Middle School

Students should not arrive to school prior to 7:15a.m, and car riders will be dropped off at the 900 hall in the mornings. No outside food or drinks can be brought in the building in the morning. (Other than lunch in a lunch box.) Parents are urged not to drop students off in front of the school. Students who arrived after 8:00a.m are tardy and must sign in at the front of the school. Dismissal in the afternoons will begin at 3:10 and all students will exit the 800 hall end doors. Car rider traffic should use the road between the RMS soccer field and parking lot. In the afternoon, there are three lanes for vehicles: 6th grade- left hand lane; 7th grade- middle lane; 8th grade right hand lane.

Lockers this year cost $8 and are on a first come first serve basis. Students are forbidden from writing, sticking, or sharing lockers.

Cedartown High School

At CHS, students have designated parking spots if they drive. Parking passes are once again $30 and can be purchased from the front office. Students must have a valid Georgia drivers license and proof of insurance to purchase the pass. Like last year, there is a Junior and Senior parking lot. The lots are in the same location, but Juniors and Seniors are encouraged to use their respective parking lots. Bus riders are to wait outside until they see their bus arrive.

CHS students are late at 8:05a.m and teachers will lock doors at this time. Any student not in class will be forced to visit the office and receive a tardy pass. Students who receive 4 tardies are given Saturday work detail.

CHS has 4 lunch shifts, and student's will have a designated shift based on their 4th period class. Free lunch is making a return at CHS, but students are not allowed to be in the hallways during their lunch period.

Returning clubs at CHS are drama, environmental, FBLA, FCA, and FFA, HOSA, Key, National Honor Society, Spanish, SADD, Student Council, and SkillsUSA.

Cell phones are allowed in CHS, but should they become a distraction, teachers will confiscate devices until the end of the class.

Students are allowed 1 re-take on an exam of their choice per nine weeks. Final exams may not be re-tested.

Rockmart High School

Students at RHS who drive are required to purchase a parking pass. The pass costs $30 and gives the student the right to park in their respective parking lot. The Junior parking lot is once again on the side of the school; Seniors are given the opportunity to park in the front or behind the gym. Bus riders are picked up and dropped off at the right side of the school and must, like all students, go to the lunchroom in the morning. Car riders are to be dropped off at the front of the school, and car riders must be picked up outside of the 400 hall after school.

RHS has a new principal this year- Robyn Teems- who is taking over for Mr. Cupp. Teems has over twenty-seven years in education and hopes to see as many students graduate as possible.

School begins at 8:00a.m and students who are tardy must get a pass from the office before heading to class. Students who receive too many tardies will be appointed Saturday school and possibly an absence.

RHS has 3 lunch shifts, and students designated lunch is determined by their 4th period class. Lunch is once again free at RHS, and students are allowed to go outside during lunch. Students are not allowed to roam the hallways during lunch.

Returning clubs at RHS are Art Club, Chess Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, Georgia Career Technical Institution, Health Occupations Students of America, International Thespian Society, Kappa Pi Beta, Key Club, National Honor Society, Sr. Beta Club, Pep Club, Public Safety, Science Club, SkillsUSA,

Spanish Club, and Student Council.