Cherokee County schools opened Monday with few problems and an enrollment of 38,778 students, and by Tuesday an additional 360 students had shown up for the new school year.
Enrollment is expected to continue rising throughout the school year, Cherokee County School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said.
Tuesday’s attendance reached 39,138, and Jacoby said the district expects a peak enrollment of 39,350 students this school year.
“Usually attendance peaks by the 20th day,” Jacoby said. “Some school systems in other parts of the country don’t start school until after Labor Day and that’s why we see our enrollment grow over the first month of school, because people are relocating to Cherokee County and enrolling their children in our schools.”
Last year’s first-day enrollment was 38,222, and after 10 days enrollment had reached 39,144.
Jacoby said the district expected many students to be dropped off on the first day, and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reserve officers and administration helped direct traffic and plan signage.
“We had heavy traffic and resulting delays for bus and car riders, which were anticipated due to the many parents who choose to drive their children to school the first day,” Jacoby said.
The new parent entrance opened at Holly Springs Elementary, and two new playgrounds were put in at Clayton and Hickory Flat elementary schools. Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo said teachers and school staff did an outstanding job preparing for the first day of school.
“Our successful opening day today is evidence of the consistent dedication by CCSD staff to ensure that all of our students experience a positive school year in a safe environment so they can excel academically beginning on day one,” Petruzielo said. “We really appreciate our teachers going above and beyond in preparing their classrooms, and our administrators doing the same outstanding work in preparing our schools so that teaching and learning could begin on day one.”
Jacoby said the first day of school marked the start of new opportunities for students in Cherokee County schools.
“We had the first day of the new jewelry industry certification class at Woodstock High and the new Mandarin Chinese classes at Etowah High,” Jacoby said. “It was the first day for the new C3 Academy and the expanded STEM Academies and the new STEM middle school classes in partnership with Georgia Tech.”
Jacoby said besides traffic, there were no significant issues on the first day of the new school year.
There were some “teary-eyed kindergarten parents, who were consoled by staff that were prepared for this,” Jacoby said.