Back to school: Teachers and staff prep for the new academic year
by Michelle Babcock
July 31, 2014 12:40 AM | 2917 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
First-grade teacher Gayle Hardman arrives in the Canton Elementary School cafeteria to retrieve supplies donated by Fair Oaks Church Tuesday. Church members have been working to collect, sort and package the supplies for school children as Hardman and her fellow teachers prepare for the beginning of the fall term Monday. <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
First-grade teacher Gayle Hardman arrives in the Canton Elementary School cafeteria to retrieve supplies donated by Fair Oaks Church Tuesday. Church members have been working to collect, sort and package the supplies for school children as Hardman and her fellow teachers prepare for the beginning of the fall term Monday.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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Teachers were busy planning and setting up classrooms this week, in anticipation of 40,200 students expected to walk through the doors of more than 40 Cherokee County schools on Monday.

With the first day of school just around the corner, many of the Cherokee County School District’s 4,324 employees spent this week preparing for the first day of school.

Tammy Robillard, who teaches pre-calculus and calculus at Cherokee High School, was one of many teachers working Tuesday to set up her classroom and prepare lessons for the upcoming school year.

Robillard is in her 33rd year teaching at Cherokee High School.

“It’s very exciting to think about new students I’m going to meet,” Robillard said. “And also the ones who I’ve taught before, to see how much they’ve grown and accomplished.”

This school year is the first time the district has added buses since reducing the fleet in 2010, because of budgetary constraints, said school district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby.

The district expects to transport about 70 percent of the student population on 358 buses this school year, on about 1,450 daily bus routes, Jacoby added in a news release.

“CCSD school buses will travel more than 4.5 million miles this school year,” she said.

The district predicts an additional 556 students this school year, with total enrollment expected to exceed 40,000 students.

Shannon Hemphill, in her eighth year teaching at Cherokee High School, said she’s excited to be teaching some new books and material to her ninth- and 10th-grade honors literature classes.

“I’m excited. I just love seeing the kids come in,” Hemphill said, looking forward to the new school year. “Everybody is happy and excited. Everybody has a 100.”

Hemphill said she’s been working all summer to prepare for the school year.

Cherokee County School District employs 289 full-time school nutrition employees who served about 5 million meals last school year, figures show.

Of the students enrolled in district schools, about 32 percent ­— more than 12,000 children — qualified for free or reduced price lunches last school year.

Despite challenges, students in the district continued to perform well on many standardized state and national tests, Jacoby said.

When it came to the SAT, the 2013 graduating class scored 69 points above the national average and 115 points above the state average, on the widely used college entrance exam.

On End of Course Tests, Cherokee County students outscored state averages in all subjects the tests were administered in, Jacoby said.

The brand new replacement Teasley Middle School will open its doors to students this school year, and plans to welcome more than 1,300 students Monday.

Students at the new Teasley will get to take advantage of five computer labs, a modern media center and more than a dozen science labs.

The new Teasley joins the replacement E. T. Booth Middle School that opened last school year. The district also has plans for a replacement Dean Rusk Middle School, slated for completion for the 2016-17 year.

For students attending the 24 elementary schools in the district, school will begin Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:15 p.m.

Most middle and high school students in the district will start their school day at 8:30 a.m., with the final bell of the day ringing at 3:30 p.m., with two exceptions.

E. T. Booth Middle School will start its school days at 8:45 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m., and Etowah High School will start school at 8:15 a.m., and end at 3:15 p.m.

For more information, visit www.cherokee.k12.ga.us.

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