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High school hours uncertain
KINGSLAND -- Camden County teachers returned to their classroom Wednesday to prepare for the upcoming academic year, which begins Tuesday.

The time classes start and end will remain unchanged at the school system's nine elementary and two middle schools. But school board members haven't set Camden High School's hours, where classes started last year at 8:10 a.m. and ended at 3:45 p.m.

School board chairman Herb Rowland said the discussion will be about ending the school day a little earlier, but no decision has been made.

Nearly all the estimated 9,300 to 9,500 students will see improvements that were made over the summer, Rowland said. Work included new gym floors in some elementary schools, a lot of paving and painting at most schools.

Another big project was renovation of the Camden County High School auditorium. Improvements include new lighting, paint, improved acoustics and a new sound system.

Teachers will spend the rest of the week attending meetings and setting up their classrooms for the school year that will be two days longer that the previous year.

One challenge for teachers is the state's decision to change to the Common Core State Standards to evaluate student performance. Rowland said changing academic evaluation standards makes it more difficult for teachers.

Parents can help improve a child's chances of a having a successful academic year, Rowland said. Assuring their children attend class is one of the best ways to do that.

Another helpful way is for parents to attend open houses at Camden County schools this week, he said. Parents will have opportunities to meet teachers and get advice on how to help their children succeed in the classroom.

"They ought to get to know the teachers and all the educational tools that are available," Rowland said.

* Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 464-7655.

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