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Schools report smooth start to year
Second-graders Patrick Edwards and Mason Tiner play on the swings at Joseph Martin Elementary School on Tuesday during recess. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
Liberty County School System officials say the first week of the 2009-10 school year has, overall, gone smoothly. Students began classes at the county’s 14 public schools Aug. 6.
 “So far, the year has gone very well,” said Frank Long Elementary School Principal Scott Carrier. “Students seem eager to learn. They’ve made the transition well into the new school year.”
Regarding the system’s uniform policy, now in it third year, Carrier said both parents and children seem to welcome it.
 “For many elementary age kids, this is all that they remember,” he said. “We don’t have any problem at this age level with the uniforms.”
Carrier, who has a daughter in high school, added that the uniform policy has made getting ready for school in the morning easier at his house.
“Everything has been very positive,” said Demere Bowen, Liberty County School System public relations facilitator. “People are really happy with the uniform policy.
It makes things easier for the parents. That’s the feedback we’ve gotten so far.”
Even newer than school uniforms in Liberty County’s public schools is school choice, a bill signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue in May 2008. School choice allows students in a public school system to attend another school in the system that is outside of their designated school zone. Transportation is up to the parents.
Joseph Martin Elementary, which serves East Hinesville and Flemington, was chosen for school choice, said Principal Sue Tolley.
“We’re not too overcrowded in classes,” Tolley said. “We have 529 students — 44 of them are school choice students. They come to us from other districts in the county. We’ve had to order more textbooks and we’ve worked out problems as they’ve come up. We’re off to a great start.”
Carol Spurlin, of the Liberty County School System enrollment office, said a total of 10,250
students were attending public school as of Tuesday.
There are currently 429 children enrolled in Pre-K, 4,510 elementary school students, 2,299 enrolled in the system’s middle schools and 3,012 students attend the local high schools.

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