School hours changing in Toombs County

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 1:54 PM EDT
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TOOMBS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Students in the Toombs County School District head back to the classroom one week from Friday.

“It’s always an exciting day, the first day of school,” Superintendent Barry Waller said.

And it’s just around the corner on Aug. 5. Staff says there are minimal COVID-19 protocols in place for the year and everyone will be back for face-to-face learning.

“We are moving into, what we can see as the most normal as we’ve been in a while.”

With that said, what has changed are the school hours.

Staff says the time changes are only about 10 to 15 minutes different than what they were. No instructional time is impacted by this.

  • Toombs County High School: 7:40 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.
  • Toombs County Middle School: 7:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • Toombs County Elementary School: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. (car riders)/3:00 p.m. (bus riders)
  • Lyons Upper Elementary School: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
  • Lyons Primary School: 7:50 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

When the bell rings next week, students in grades k-8 will also start a new program.

Superintendent Waller says they’re implementing social, emotional learning into the curriculum this year by teaching “The 7 Mindsets.”

“We get so caught up with test scores and teaching standards and just pouring information into our students that many times the whole child is being left out.”

Waller says “The 7 Mindsets” is a full online curriculum for students in grades K-8. A new mindset will be introduced each month with a lesson that goes with it.

Students will complete the various assignments during a specific time in the school day. Waller says with the current mental health crisis, there’s no better time than now to continue investing in the children and their futures.

“We want to teach our children our kids how to be resilient and how to cope with anxiety.”

Not only is mental health top of mind, but so is safety. Waller says the schools now have a crisis alert system ready for use.

“It allows our teachers, with a touch of a button, to alert our school administrators to possibly go into a lockdown situation.”

Waller says the button is on a badge that staff will always wear around their neck. He says he wants parents to feel comfortable knowing their kids are safe the second they get on and off the bus.

“We do feel our schools are safe. We keep things locked down during the middle of the day with all exterior doors and we do have a law enforcement presence on campus.”

The district’s open house is next week on Aug. 4. School supplies will also be given out to each student during the open house.

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