Local News

8/5/2013

Teachers ready for new year

By SARAH LUNDGREN The Brunswick News

Glynn County public schools are a whirlwind of activity, and school hasn't even started yet.

Between meeting after meeting, training sessions and overviews, not to mention getting an entire classroom in order - the first few days before students arrive can be pretty hectic and stressful for teachers.

Christina Gutierrez, a new kindergarten teacher at Goodyear Elementary School in Brunswick, moved box after box Friday, the first day back for all teachers in the Glynn County School System.

A former paraprofessional, she is looking forward to her first full year in the classroom as a teacher, but there's a lot to be done between now and Thursday, the first day of the school year.

"Rearrange the room, set up all the bulletin boards, set up all of the centers," Gutierrez said, running through the list with a sigh. "I'm also on the PTA here, so I'll be arranging PTA packets to support membership to hand out. I've got training on Monday as well so I lose a day in classroom prep. It's a bit stressful."

Gutierrez is thankful to have a paraprofessional this year - Brenda Hamilton, who was helping her set up the classroom Friday. Both are eager to start the year right.

"This room has had several teachers come through it over the last few years, but I'm so excited. I'm starting off new. I'll be the first face they see this school year and the last," Gutierrez said with a smile.

The school system has 64 new certified staff joining its ranks this school year.

Most teachers are returning, however, and there's only one new principal this school year - Katy Ginn at St. Simons Elementary School.

Most private schools in Glynn County, like Heritage Christian Academy and St. Simons Christian School, will open Thursday too. A few others have a later start date, like Christian Montessori School, which opens Aug. 12, and Frederica Academy, which opens Aug. 14. Both St. Simons Island schools are already preparing for the return of students.

Here's some important information for parents and guardians who have students in the Glynn County Public School System:

* Middle and high schools, including Golden Isles Career Academy, will host open houses from 4 to 6 p.m. today and elementary schools, including FACES pre-kindergarten, will host open houses from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

* The school system will hold a registration blitz for those enrolling a child in a Glynn County school for the first time starting today. The blitz will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Wednesday at the central registration office at Risley Annex, 2900 Albany St., Brunswick. For more information, call 280-4010.

* Elementary schools are in session from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; middle schools from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; and high schools from 8:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

* FACES pre-kindergarten allows for sign-in as early 7:30 a.m., but students must arrive by 8:15 a.m. Students may be picked up as early as 2 p.m. and must be picked up by 2:30 p.m.

* Parents who need to know the school their child is zoned to attend should call the transportation department at 267-4120.

* Updated bus routes are available on the Glynn County Schools website - glynn.k12.ga.us. Families who will be affected by the Aug. 19-Sept. 4 closing of the Ga. 303 South Brunswick River Bridge should contact the school system transportation department prior to Aug. 19 for instructions.

* Visit the school system's website to find your child's individual school web page, teacher website and other useful links like the Glynn County Board of Education website. There is a "Parents" tab at the top of the page that includes almost all needed information for the coming school year.

* Parents new to the school system and those who haven't joined Infinite Campus should visit the school system website and check out the "Parents" tab. There is a detailed instruction list on how to join.

* Be on the lookout for a packet of information that will be sent home with children at the start of the school year. It will include important information, like behavior and dress codes, food and nutrition information, as well as contracts requiring a signature from parents or guardians and more.

SBlt Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.