Effingham Co. prepares for new year, new additions

New additions from field turf to new security measures
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 1:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Students in the Effingham County School District head back to the classroom one week from Thursday.

They’ll return to all sorts of new additions from turf fields to increased security.

“We’re excited about the new school year. We’re excited about the growth,” said ECSD Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford.

That growth, including about 600 new students this year, a driving factor for some of the biggest changes you’ll see at schools in Effingham County this year.

“We’re very excited about the new wing addition at Blandford Elementary School and two new wing additions at Blandford Elementary School,” said Dr. Ford.

And in some cases, to be able to come in with the new, means first going out with the old.

“Effingham County High School has broke ground on an addition. They currently have around 21-hundred students and the new addition will allow them to grow to 25-hundred students,” explained Dr. Ford.

Of course, with all these new students, high on the list of needed improvements this year was security.

“Before we can teach our students, the most important thing we can do is make sure we provide a safe environment for them,” Dr. Ford says.

That includes adding resources officers to all their schools, a new emergency alert system, and, “we have a lock mechanism that will be added to doors of classrooms and key areas in all of our schools.”

When it comes to COVID this year, Dr. Ford says they won’t be doing the online case tracker and, “the only option in the Effingham County School District is face to face.”

As for the education side of things.

“We’re also adding agriculture to everyone of our elementary schools,” said Dr. Ford.

Other additions include a show arena at Honeyridge, and eventually a performing arts center near Rincon Elementary.

And while there’s a lot of new this year and down the road, Dr. Ford expects they’ll succeed the same way they have in years past, by working together.

“You know parents can’t do it alone, schools can’t do it alone. Communities have to come together for a partnership in excellence. At the end of the day it’s not about us, it’s about the students who walk through our halls each and every day.”

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