Education news

Officials are ready to open the doors to classrooms this morning in Polk County as the 2018-19 school year gets underway. 

Initial concerns about roadway conditions and flooding following several days of rain have been put at ease for now according to Superintendent Laurie Atkins after she and Central Office personnel consulted with county officials about potential safety issues.

"We have received reports that flood situations have improved and our roads are safe for travel," a statement from Atkins sent out by the district said on Thursday.

They will keep parents and students posted should conditions suddenly change before classroom doors are set to open.

Otherwise, they look forward to a good first day back.

Atkins said one of the best ways to do that is to start off the school year right by coming to school, and then staying there through the rest of the year.

That means getting to school on time first and foremost. Students are expected at the elementary and middle school campuses at 7:45 a.m., and high school students day starts at 7:55 a.m. through the rest of the year, unless otherwise noted.

Students begin getting out at 2:45 p.m. with the elementary schools, followed by a 3:10 p.m. dismissal at the middle schools, and 3:25 p.m. for the Cedartown and Rockmart High School campuses.

“Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways to prepare your child for success - both in school and in life,” Atkins said. “When you help us make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, and have a better chance of graduating from high school ready to successfully meet the challenges life may have in store for them.”

She added that a lot of work has gone into the summer break to prepare for the start of the school year on Friday. With that came a lot of work for new administrators at campuses across the district.

That includes Leah Redden, the new principal at Young’s Grove Elementary School after the summer departure of Kiley Thompson. She joins three new assistant principals in new administrative jobs within the district. Kyle Stephens will be the new assistant principal at Northside, Jonathan Lindsey will be the new assistant principal at the Cedartown Campus of the Polk County College and Career Academy, and Angela Shuman will be the part-time assistant principal at the Rockmart Campus of the Polk County College and Career Academy.

Some additional information of note for car riders at Cedartown High School due to construction this year: first, no students will be allowed to park in the south parking lot due to construction.

Seniors and juniors will be using the campus’ north parking lot instead this year. They’ll be asked to exit campus onto Highway 27.

“Additional police presence will be provided,” Atkins said to ensure that everyone gets out safely.

Underclassmen with vehicles and permission to park on campus will be using the lower parking lot this year.

“Car riders will be picked up in the south parking lot,” Atkins said.

She added it was not a change for the 2018-19 school year.

As students and teachers head back to campus, Atkins asked for all to become closer to the entire PSD family.

“We encourage everyone to get involved or stay involved in our schools this year,” she said. “ Join us in creating bright futures filled with opportunities and growth. We cannot take this journey without each of you, and I look forward to seeing everyone throughout the year.”