Fayette County News

Fayette County


What parents, students need to know heading back to school

Special to Fayette Newspapers

With the start of school right around the corner on August 6, there is some good news for parents’ wallets as they purchase school clothes and supplies for the new year.

For the first time in five years, there will not be a meal price increase. This is thanks to a special waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture that allowed all school nutrition programs with a positive fund balance to submit a waiver request not to increase prices for the 2018-2019 school year. The school system applied, and the waiver was approved. Meal prices will remain as follows: Student Breakfast Prices – $1.60; Adult Breakfast Prices – $2.25; Elementary Lunch Prices – $2.75; Middle and High Lunch Prices – $2.90; and Adult Meal Prices – $3.75.

Rising sixth and eighth grade students who will be riding a school bus this year need to register for transportation service. Parents have already received an Infinite Campus message from the transportation department, but if they have delayed in responding, they need to do so in order for their child to ride the school bus. Information regarding bus stops and pick up times will be sent to parents via an Infinite Campus message on August 1. Parents can also view this information on August 1 at www.fcboe.org/Page/3366. Bus drivers will be on hand at open houses the week before school starts to meet students and distribute information. Motorists and residents should be aware that school buses will be on the road the morning of July 31 as drivers run their routes during their assigned pick up times. Please be cautious of the buses on the roadways and in neighborhoods.

There are several new academic courses and programs that will be offered to students this year to help them build future careers in the film and television industry, and start a solid foundation for learning a second language.

In 2017, the film and television industry were responsible for a $9.5 billion economic impact in Georgia. Home to Pinewood Movie Studios, Fayette County has a strong tie to the film and television industry, making sense for the school system to help prepare interested students for future careers in both the big and small screen. The school system, in collaboration with the Georgia Film Academy, Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia, developed a new English Language Arts course in dramatic writing that focuses on digital art content creation. The course has been approved by the Georgia Department of Education, enabling high school students who have aspirations of becoming tomorrow’s Emmy and Oscar winning writers to begin their preparation. The course will be offered at all five high schools this year. It is the first arts-integrated course that also counts as a fourth English Language Arts unit for high school graduation, and counts as an English unit for University System of Georgia admission purposes.

In addition to writers, there is also a need for skilled set designers. Two dual-enrollment courses in set and film production will be offered at the school system’s Center of Innovation in partnership with Georgia Film Academy and Southern Crescent Technical College. The partnership will allow students to take on-set film production related courses while earning both high school and college credit. Students will have the opportunity to complete the first two courses in the sequence needed to attain one of several Georgia Film Academy certifications.

Starting fall semester, students will be able to enroll in the course, “Introduction to On-Set Film Production,” followed by the course, “Advanced Skills for Film and TV Production,” spring semester.

After high school graduation, students can choose to continue working toward completing one of the Georgia Film Academy certifications, having already earned credit for the first two required courses. These certifications indicate that students have received the educational and hands-on training needed to secure entry-level positions in the film industry.

It is a fact that we are living in a global society, and being fluent in more than one language helps with career success. It is also a fact that the earlier in life a person begins to study another language, the easier it is to master, and that is why the school system is piloting a new world language arts program aimed at helping elementary students learn Spanish. The online program, Rosetta Stone Foundations, will be offered during the 2018-2019 school year to students in grades kindergarten through fifth at Braelinn Elementary, Fayetteville Elementary, Huddleston Elementary, Kedron Elementary, and Peeples Elementary. The personalized online program allows students to progress at their own pace through a structured sequence. As students complete interactive language instruction they unlock the ability to practice their language skills through games, activities, stories, and live online conversations, all leveled to their learning progress. The course will be offered during specials rotation at each pilot school.

As students head back with new clothes and gear, many will also see new principals at their schools. A total of six schools, four elementary and two high, will start the year off with new principals at the helm.

Lisa Moore, former assistant principal at Spring Hill Elementary School, is the new principal at North Fayette Elementary School. She replaces Oatha Mann who is now the Coordinator of System Athletics and will also provide administrative support at McIntosh High School. Moore has spent her entire educational career in the Fayette County Public School System, starting as a sixth grade English teacher at Flat Rock Middle School. She later taught sixth grade English at the former Fayette Middle School before being promoted to assistant principal at the school in 2002 where she remained until becoming assistant principal at Spring Hill Elementary in 2009.

Jamie Munoz, the former assistant principal at Braelinn Elementary School, is the new principal at Spring Hill Elementary, replacing Randy Hudson who retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Munoz also started her educational career in Fayette County, employed as a sixth grade science, mathematics and reading teacher at Whitewater Middle School, and later as a sixth grade science teacher at Bennett’s Mill Middle School before being promoted to assistant principal at Braelinn Elementary in 2011.

Jennifer Couch, a former assistant principal at J.C. Booth Middle School, and the former principal at Hapeville Elementary School in Fulton County, is taking the helm as principal at Braelinn Elementary. She replaced Wenonah Bell, who also retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Couch worked as an educator in the Fayette County Public School System for 12 years. She started as a ninth and 10th grade math teacher at Starr’s Mill High School, followed by teaching fifth grade language arts and social studies at Peeples Elementary School, and finally teaching fifth grade math, science and language arts at Kedron Elementary School. She was promoted to assistant principal at J.C. Booth Middle in 2007 where she worked until becoming principal at Hapeville Elementary in 2012.

Jamie Voorhies, former assistant principal at Huddleston Elementary School, is replacing former Kedron Elementary School principal Dr. Julie Turner who has been promoted to assistant superintendent of student achievement for the school system. Voorhies has been employed by the school system for six years. She began working in Fayette as a third grade teacher at the former Fayetteville Intermediate School (now Fayetteville Elementary) , and also taught first grade at Spring Hill Elementary before being promoted to assistant principal at Huddleston Elementary.

Dr. Dan Lane, former principal of Fayette County High School, is taking on the role as principal at McIntosh High School, replacing Lisa Fine who retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Yolanda Briggs-Johnson, former assistant principal at Whitewater High School, is replacing him at Fayette County High School.

Lane has been with the school system for 26 years. He served as the choral director at Whitewater Middle, Starr’s Mill High, and Fayetteville Intermediate schools. He was promoted to assistant principal at McIntosh High in 2007, a position he held until prompted to principal at Fayette County High in 2013.

Briggs-Johnson came to the school system in 2006 and worked as a speech language pathologist at Cleveland Elementary, J.C. Booth Middle and Bennett’s Mill Middle schools before being promoted to assistant principal at Whitewater High in 2012.