School back in session for Dougherty County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School back in session for Dougherty County

August 7, 2007

Albany -- It's time for students in Dougherty County to kiss their summer vacation good-bye and hit the books once again.

Tuesday, students are finally heading back to the classroom.  When they get there, they can expect some changes for the new school year.

"There's something about new beginnings. The slate is clean, and we're all fresh and the opportunities are interminable," says teacher, Carole Wiles.

Dougherty County teachers, like Wiles of Merry Acres Middle, have been preparing for the first day of class for weeks now.

"I can't tell you how many cars were in this parking lot Saturday and Sunday. You have to go the extra mile, and then you're still not ready," says Wiles.

Thw language arts teacher and others like her aim to go the extra mile to make learning fun for students.

"They can expect me to be animated, a little singing and dancing. Failure is not an option, and we are really concentrating on success for all Dougherty County children," says Wiles.

"It's going to be a great year. We're looking forward to it," says Dougherty County Superintendent Sally Whatley.  However, she says students can expect some new changes for the new school year.

"Once children are enrolled in school, provided their enrolled in the appropriate zoned school, they will remain there the entire year.  That should be a big boom to his education and should be a real help to that classroom teacher who will work with that child all year long," says Whatley.

Along with classroom changes, will come many new faces. "We're probably expecting at least 70 to 80 brand new teachers," says Whatley.

Those teaches, likes Wiles, have but one goal in mind. "We're trying very diligently to get together and improve our curriculum, to work more and more as teams, to find ways that we can educate our children, so they're going to be ready for this 21st century," says Wiles.

And as students in Dougherty County make their way back into the classroom, she leaves them all with this piece of advice:

"I want you to come to school not only excited about the new year but with an open mind," says Wiles.

Dr. Whatley says as usual the district will continue to focus on two major priorities and that is increasing student achievement as well as the graduation rate.

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