Schools reopen in Dougherty County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Schools reopen in Dougherty County

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

August 6, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - You probably noticed a little more traffic on Albany area roads on Wednesday and those big yellow busses.

It was the first day of school and the first day of staggered school start times for Dougherty County.

Administrators hope the change will make bus routes more efficient and ensure students get to school on time.

As the busses pulled up for students at Westover High School, things were a bit different. School didn't end until 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

"First day was just fine we're really excited to have all of our students back," said Principal William Chunn, Westover High School.

The Principal says a new staggered bus schedule will give them more time to focus on education.

"The staggered system went really well for us today it gave us an opportunity to take full advantage of our academic time," said Chunn.

The Dougherty County School System decided to bus students to school at different times based on their grade levels to improve transportation efficiency.

"Everyone is impressed with the staggered start system, it allows us to start precisely at 8:45 and at 4 we're ending our day and at about 4:30 all of our students will be off the campus and that's just outstanding," said Chunn.

At Sherwood Elementary many parents picked up students on Wednesday.

"Bussed students that went smoothly, but because we have so many car riders, we had a back up," said Principal Eva Robinson, Sherwood Acres Elementary.

Principal Robinson says that problem will be addressed.

The school system transported about 12,000 children to 27 schools countywide with very few problems.

"We had a couple of breakdowns, apart from that , a couple of busses were late. The new structure for transportation was mostly successful. We had one or two children getting on the wrong busses, and we're locating all of those and getting them home safely," said Robert Lloyd, Dougherty County Transportation Director.

After months of study, Dougherty County school leaders found larger school systems ran more efficiently by staggering school start times

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