School Starts Today For Students in Stephens Co.

It is the start of a new school year for students in Stephens County.

Today is the first day of school for students in the Stephens County school system for the 2014-2015 school year.

Stephens County School Superintendent Bryan Dorsey said they are ready to go on this first day.

“We have had our teachers and administrators and staff working very hard to get ready for our students and we are excited about getting a great year started,” said Dorsey.

This is the first full school year in Stephens County for Dorsey, who started in his position in May.

He said he is excited to get his first full school year underway.

“I am extremely pleased to be able to get back involved with our students, seeing them do their student achievement, making progress in their classroom studies,” said Dorsey. “I am also looking forward to seeing some of our students involved in our extracurricular activities, clubs and sports and seeing all the great things we are able to offer and do with our students and for our community.”

The 2014-2015 school year marks the first year for the Stephens County school system as a charter school system.

In a charter system, a local Board of Education reaches a contract with the state Board of Education regarding the operation of the school system.

In that contract, a local school board can request to do things differently that normal state rules may allow in various categories.

However, the state in return sets certain requirements and benchmarks for performance that the school system must meet.

Dorsey said becoming a charter system will provide opportunities for the school system and its students.

“With all initial start-ups, there is a period of learning, so we will be going through some training sessions with our school governance teams, making sure they are up to date on proper protocols and laws and the ways that they will be able to operate,” said Dorsey. “Then we look forward to being able to expand the opportunities for our students so that they are able to learn more and be able to do more. We want to see performers and kids that are for the next level.”

In addition, schools in Georgia are facing a new testing format with what the state is calling the “Georgia Milestones” test.

Dorsey said that will be an adjustment for Stephens County schools and others across the state.

“It is a big change, but we know that our staff is ready and will step up to that challenge,” said Dorsey.

Dorsey also encouraged people to be patient on the roads and allow for extra time to get to school or wherever they may be headed.