School is back as all of the Chambers County School System returned to classes on Monday. There are many new things happening this year in the system and students should feel the impact immediately.
As far as technology is concerned, the system has added 57 SMART interactive white boards, 46 LCD projectors, 200 student computers and 77 iPads since last year.
There are also a number of nutritional changes for this year. This is the first year to participate in the Universal Breakfast Program, which allows students to receive free breakfast each morning. Thanks to a grant from General Mills and Southeast Dairy Association insulated bags have been provided to deliver breakfast to the classrooms.
Huguley Elementary also received a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant from the Child Nutrition Program in which fresh fruits and vegetables will be added to their regular meals twice a week. The Child Nutrition Program also now offers online free and reduced lunch applications that can be found on the Chambers County Schools website or at each individual school’s website.
Eastside Elementary here in LaFayette was the recipient of an inclusive preschool grant. The Chambers County System was one of only four to receive such a grant. It will allow Eastside to offer an inclusive pre-K program for four-year olds, similar to the one at Bob Harding Elementary in Valley. It will follow the same curriculum and guidelines as other preschools in the system. Superintendent Kelli Tucker said the goal is to have equal number of typical students and students with disabilities in the class.
There have been numerous renovations over the summer as well. LaFayette High School received upgrades to their restrooms, while Valley High updated their computer lab and retrofitted lights in the gym to be more energy efficient.
Child Nutrition also provided renovated stockrooms in six of the county schools by replacing wooden shelves with stainless steel ones. Eastside received a new freezer and their former one was converted into a larger one at LaFayette Lanier.
While the students returned Monday, the teachers and staff have been back for two weeks preparing for the start of school. They also attended a weeklong Technology/Teacher Academy, which was a professional development session that provided training on various subjects including new technology in use this year.
Also as students return to school, Sheriff Lockhart said he wanted to remind drivers that deputies will be out in force and will be strictly enforcing traffic laws, especially around school zones. “Please remember to obey all traffic laws, but especially, honor speed limits within school zones,” Lockhart said.