Monroe Comprehensive High School students board a bus for the ride home at the end of the school day Thursday.
ALBANY, Ga. — Just before the Dougherty County School System began the 2012-13 school year, Superintendent Joshua Murfree urged parents to get their kids to school on opening day on Aug. 6.
“We were challenged to improve on last year’s attendance for the first week of school and succeeded in having more than 400 students attending on the first day over last year’s attendance,” DCSS Public Information Director R.D. Harter said. “Attendance improved over the week with a gain of about 1,200 students by Friday. Unofficially, attendance is over 15,000 for the start of the 2012-2013 school term.”
Last year’s end of school enrollment for the DCSS was officially 16,343. Some students tend to straggle into schools within the first three weeks of opening and Harter said he was confident the current numbers will rise.
Other items of note over the past two weeks were the typical bus transport problems and scheduling issues at Monroe High School.
“The first week of school presents challenges we can’t be fully prepared for as parents and students learn bus schedules and stops,” Harter said. “This should be handled by parents by making application for student transportation prior to the first day of class. Buses always run behind schedule the first few days, as drivers have to announce every stop and tell students where the bus is going and make sure those getting on and off the bus are assigned to that route.
“This process leveled more quickly this year than in previous years. Transporting more than 10,000 students requires a great deal of coordination and cooperation along with the knowledge of how the system works and what the schedules are.”
Last year, Dougherty High had problems with student schedules and many students sat idle in the school gym until schedules were settled.
This year it was Monroe where many student schedules were unavailable and students sat in the gym for two days while the problems were worked out.
“Most of the problems at Monroe were caused by the hiring of a new school counselor in July,” Harter said.
He added that the scheduling problems at Monroe had been resolved.