Every academic year brings opportunities for new beginnings, and the Columbia County school system will see a number of changes when the 2007-08 year begins on Aug. 13.
A new superintendent will be monitoring class size and space needs on the first day of school. Charles Nagle, the former associate superintendent of student support, was sworn into the top job in July.
The dedication of Cedar Ridge Elementary School, the newest of the county's 17 elementary schools, is slated for Aug. 9, and school officials said the new building will be ready on the first day of school.
"The main goal is to build camaraderie among the community, the staff and the students," Principal Sarah Walls said. "I really want to work with the community to make our school the best it can be."
She said the school will have an enrollment of about 700 pupils.
"We want to reach out to the military families, too," Walls said. "That's going to be one of our major areas of interest."
The school system has added 69.5 certified positions, seven graduation coaches in the middle schools and 14 paraprofessionals to its payroll. In addition, the system has hired 23 new school nutrition employees.
The cafeterias will be busy places as more pupils will be able to begin their day with breakfast at school.
With the addition of a breakfast program at Stevens Creek Elementary School, Nagle said, "We will have a breakfast program in every elementary school."
Evans Middle School also will begin serving breakfast this year. It will offer the program along with Columbia, Grovetown, Harlem and Lakeside middle schools. Harlem and Lakeside high schools also provide breakfast to their students.
Columbia County school buses will be easier to track with the addition of a global positioning system to its bus fleet. The transportation department has installed the system on 45 of its buses to start the school year.
The choice of electives will expand at Evans and Lakeside high schools this year with the addition of the class, Literature and History of the Old Testament Era and the New Testament Era.
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