Thomas schools expanding for growth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas schools expanding for growth

Thomasville-  The Thomas School System is making an effort to catch up with growth in the county.  It's building two new schools that are on track to open next year.  They share a 108 acre campus, and were paid for with a combination of sales tax money and stater grants.

As the school year draws to a close in Thomas County, next year is already taking shape with new middle and primary schools.  "This is very necessary for us," says Thomas County Schools superintendent Dr. Larry Green.

It's a two-part effort based on growth in the county and state mandated class size reduction.  "We have students who are getting their instruction in portables, and we don't think that's the best environment," says Green.

Now, those learning environments are being revamped with state-of-the-art facilities and programs.  "Pre-K program, we have resource coordinators. Their purpose is to work with parents and students," says Green.

Not only are the new schools functional, they're innovative as well. No matter how minute, everything serves a purpose, from the classrooms' interior / exterior doors, to the play facilities.  "The exterior doors are designed so they (students) come right out of their classroom into a play area. And they'll have a lot of activities that are part of their curriculum," says Green.

Curriculum that encompasses all types of students, another innovation for Thomas Schools.  "We have become an inclusion system, where we include our special education students and our regular ed students in the same environment," says Green.

New schools means a new start, and better education for every student in the Thomas County system.  "You're giving them new facilities, adequate facilities," says Green.  Facilities he describes as a collaborative effort for the greater good of learning.

The total cost of both schools is about 24 million dollars. The SPLOST covered just over 21 million dollars of that. The rest was taken care of by the state grant for class size reduction.

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