ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - It may be the first day of school for many south Georgia students, but some Dougherty County high school seniors are already planning for their future post graduation.
Principals are making sure their students graduate and know what they want to do after graduation.
Halls that were quiet Wednesday, were full of students and teachers Thursday. Hugs were shared between people who haven’t seen each other in months.
“You see nervous freshman. You’re encouraging them that it’s okay, it’s going to be okay, you’re going to get through the day," Ashanti Mitchell, a Monroe Comprehensive High School senior, said. “And everybody rushing to get to their class, it feels good to see that.”
Three years ago, Mitchell was one of those nervous freshmen. But on Thursday, she walked down the halls as the senior class president, sure of her presence at Monroe High.
“It’s really no senior left behind," Mitchell said. “I want everybody here to either go to college, Air Force, Military, Army, whichever one they chose to do. But I don’t want anyone just sitting at home.”
Principal Vinson Davis said one of they’re really focusing this year on making sure every senior graduates, and has an after graduation plan.
“We are preparing kids," Davis said. “Making sure they’re taking the SAT, taking the ACT. They have prepared themselves for their next stop.”
Davis said the first few days of school set the tone for the rest of the year. The principal said they work to make students excited about their future now, so they’ll have somewhere to go when they close their lockers and leave these hallways for the last time.
“Getting the year started, we always start off with what we want to finish with,” said Davis.
District leaders said they’re taking extra steps this year to make sure parents are included in the planning process. Getting students to the technical colleges, universities or wherever they go after graduation.
Safety preps as students head back to school:
With school buses back on the roads, Georgia lawmakers are clarifying when drivers can and cannot pass stopped buses.
An old law on the same topic said drivers could pass stopped school buses if they had a painted turn lane between them and the bus.
The new bill said drivers can only pass a stopped school bus if there is a physical median between them and the bus.
Dougherty County School System Superintendent Kenneth Dyer, wants to remind drivers to go slowly and carefully.
“School zones start today, so I want to make a public service announcement for everyone to be on the lookout for school zones. We’ll have about 10,000 students on our buses this morning traveling to and from school," said Dyer.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed the law back in February, and this is the first, school year it will be in effect.
More back to school preparations:
School leaders tell WALB News 10 a special classroom for students with severe disabilities will be ready before the end of this year.
An almost $7 million addition will be built onto Sherwood Acres Elementary School.
It will host the GNETs, or Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support, program for students with disabilities.
The project hit a delay when some school board members questioned a contractor on the job.
After the majority voted for the construction to continue, the project will finished sooner than expected.
“We’re excited about the GNETs project at Sherwood Acres. I’m excited to say that project is ahead of schedule and we’re looking for occupancy this spring,” said Dyer.
The GNETs program allows students to learn in a real classroom environment with their peers.