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Schools gearing up for new year
2011-12 classes start Aug. 4
BoE member Harold Woods shakes hands with an LCSS employee during the event, which allowed principals and board members a chance to get to know each other. - photo by Photo by Danielle Hipps

Liberty, Fort Stewart, FPCA backa to school

Liberty County schools
Open house: Wednesday, Aug. 3
• 11 a.m. for Pre-K
• 3-6 p.m. for K-12 at each school
First day of school: Thursday, Aug. 4
Last day of school: Thursday, May 24
Elementary: 7:40 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Middle and high: 8:20 a.m.-3:25 p.m.
Fort Stewart schools
Open house: 3-5 p.m. Thursday,
Aug. 4, at each school
First day of school: Monday, Aug. 8, for K-6; Monday, Aug. 22, for Pre-K
Britton Elementary: 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.*
Diamond Elementary:
• Morning Pre-K: 8-10:30 a.m.
• Afternoon Pre-K: 12-2:25 p.m.
• K-6: 7:55 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Kessler Elementary: 7:55 a.m.-2:45 p.m. except Thursdays, which are 7:55 a.m.-1:30 p.m.*
* Kindergarten is from 8-11:30 a.m. Aug. 8-12; Full-day kindergarten begins Aug. 15.

First Presbyterian Christian Academy
Open house: 2-4 p.m. Wed., Aug. 3
First day: Thursday, Aug. 4
Last day: Wednesday, May 23
Preschool through third grade:
8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fourth and fifth: 8 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
Sixth through 12th: 8 a.m.-3:20 p.m.

Information about uniforms, school lunches and bus schedules will be available on Sunday in a special section of the Courier.

With the advent of a new school year just a week away, Liberty County school administrators have had quite a busy week.
Principals and assistant principals gathered early Monday to catch up with board members before a daylong policy briefing.
Before getting down to business, principals and assistant principals from district schools mingled with the board of education and system administrators.
While many current school administrators are shuffling into new positions, the district is welcoming one newcomer from Heard County, Superintendent Judy Scherer said.
Marti Stephens, an incoming assistant principal at Waldo Pafford Elementary, worked as a principal for seven years at her last job, she said. She took the new job to be with her husband, who was relocated to Fort Stewart last year.
“I believe God puts you where he wants you to be,” she said. “There’s purpose in every move, and my husband and I get to be together again.”
Stephens was excited for the meeting because it introduced her to coworkers — hopefully putting an end to her being mistaken for a school parent, she said with a laugh.
Attorney Phil Hartley of Gainesville’s Harben, Hartley & Hawkins briefed the administrators on changes in education laws.
He touched on new clearance certificates, which do away with the previous practice of hiring new employees on a 200-day temporary contract and instead allow a district to employ a new hire up to 20 days without a contract. The lapse in time is to allow for adequate background checks and a clearance certificate, he said.
One change that is likely to affect schools is a change in the HOPE legislation that awards a scholarship to all valedictorians and salutatorians from “eligible high schools.”
Before scholarships were at stake, students and parents already were engaged in fierce competition for the top honors — and in one Atlanta school last year, there were three valedictorians, Hartley said. To reduce confusion and chaos, he recommended the board or its individual schools have clear and concise procedures for determining the designations.
Hartley also spoke about the need to be honest when completing employee evaluations so documentation serves as an “effective witness” to classroom problems, which would increase accountability for all levels, he said.

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