SCCPSS new bell schedules begin Thursday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCCPSS new bell schedules begin Thursday

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Students across Chatham County are preparing to go back to school Thursday, but there are a few changes parents need to be aware of.

New bell schedules for most students will begin on the first day. This is all in an effort to improve on-time arrivals to school.

"I'm excited about her starting school. I went here from like kindergarten to the fifth grade. I think it will be exciting to see how much she'll and what she learns," mother Lovely Daneils said.

For those going back to school, most students will start school at a different time than last year.

For instance, students in high school will start at 7:45 a.m., about 15 minutes later than last year. Middle school students will start at 7:55 a.m., about 10 minutes later than last year, and now all elementary students will be starting at 9 a.m., and for some that's about 30 minutes later than last year.

Also, K-8 schools will all start at 7:55 a.m.

"We wanted to build an effective bell schedule that will allow our students to be transported in a timely manner to allow them to get home in a timely manner as well as get to school on time. We wanted to make sure that we built something that was realistic for transportation purposes and to efficiently use our bus fleet in a better manner," Executive Director for Support Service Tammy Perkins said.

Superintendent Thomas Lockamy said this is the earliest the district has gone back to school in about ten years, and there will be a lot more students starting than last year.

Lockamy said the district has grown by about 800 students, bringing the total to about 38,000 students.

Teachers are preparing for the common core standards, new state tests including the Georgia Mile Stone test, but this will also be the first year that teachers pay will be tied to evaluations.

"The common core will be full steam ahead with that this year. We've been piloting that over the last few years but this year is the first year we will have pay for performance which will be the teacher evaluation and pay will be connected together," Lockamy said. "We will have the new state test as well. So we're excited about the good things that are happening but also some real challenges with all of the new things."

While there was some concern that Lockamy might retire, he told WTOC just because he can doesn't mean he will, and he plans to stick around as superintendent for awhile. 

While these are the overall changes, double check your child's school start and ends times, because some of the schools have special schedules.

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