DCSS: Opening attendance up

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County School System Public Information Director R.D. Harter said Thursday that student attendance over the first week of school is running higher than it did during the first week of the 2010-11 school year.

"As far as live body count goes, we seem to be more than 2,000 students higher than at the same time last year," Harter said, stressing that the numbers were preliminary. "And we could have more that 2,400 in attendance now than in the first week of last year."

Harter credited Superintendent Joshua Murfree's "Day One" campaign in the the media and churches for the spike in opening week attendance.

With registration still ongoing, Harter speculated that the total number of students registered is just over 15,000 and will eventually match or surpass last year's student population of more than 15,700.

"We are hoping that 75 percent of those children are in school by Friday," he said.

Transportation issues have been minimal, the school system reported.

"Any time you are moving 8,000 students each day, you are going to have a glitch or two pop up," Harter said. "Today, we had a child get on the wrong bus. He had to ride until the bus finished its route and he didn't get home until 7:30. But the problems are getting fewer each day, and it is a noticeable improvement from last year."