Workers are putting the finishing touches on school-improvement projects to ready Columbia County schools for the Aug. 6 start date.
Paving is continuing at Columbia County's newest school, Lewiston Elementary, which will open its doors for the first time this year.
"I'm pleased to say we are beginning to make good progress at Lewiston Elementary School," said Superintendent Tommy Price in presenting his school readiness report to the board Tuesday night.
"The front paving is done and hopefully we will be able to complete the back in short order. It's comforting to know we can access the school."
Site work has been delayed by rain on the seven-classroom addition at Lakeside High School, but the project is expected to be completed Aug. 1. Work also is continuing at Harlem High School's professional food lab.
Though workers are finishing up the new wood gymnasium floors at Harlem and Evans high schools, the new bleachers are not expected until September. New windows have been installed at Martinez Elementary School, but window replacement at Bel Air and South Columbia elementary schools has been delayed until the windows arrive after Aug. 8.
Even with the opening of a new school, Price said the system will be using 100 portable classrooms, about the same number as last year. The need, however, has shifted from the elementary grades to middle schools such as Lakeside, Riverside and Evans Middle, which picked up new pupils in a rezoning of the Martinez Elementary district this year.
Custodians are busy preparing the new classroom addition at Lakeside High School for the school year that begins Aug. 6 for Columbia County public schools.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
All school principals officially reported to work Thursday, and school offices are now open to register new pupils. The pupil population is expected to swell by 250 to 19,600 this year, Price said.
Most of the opening for classroom teachers have been filled, with only three full-time and one half-time special education positions vacant, and one full-time and one half-time regular educations positions unfilled, said Personnel Director Connie Davis.
For the first time, high schools are mailing class schedules before school begins so any adjustments can be made without taking away from class time.
Curriculum changes this year include the addition of eighth-grade Spanish, the second phase in a middle-school foreign language package that allows pupils to earn a high-school foreign language credit for successfully completing both phases.
Health occupations, a certified program of study, also will be offered this year at Lakeside High School. In the past, only Greenbrier and Evans high schools have offered the course.
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