The Cobb County School District welcomed back students and teachers at 112 schools Wednesday morning for the 2013-14 school year. Cobb serves pre-K through 12th-grade students in 16 high schools, 25 middle schools and 67 elementary schools.
The total enrollment for this year hasn’t been determined but it is expected to remain the same as 2012, about 108,262, according to a district spokesperson.
Tapp Middle School Principal Jeanne Walker said her school’s first day went well overall, even after they lost power in the cafeteria.
“We really did have a good day, although it was a little disappointing that we had to prepare sack lunches for our students on the first day of school,” she said.
Walker, who is beginning her second year as principal at the school in Powder Springs, said the power began flickering shortly after school started and it eventually went out completely in the cafeteria just before lunch, which required the staff to make sack lunches for students.
A blown transformer in the area was blamed for the power outage.
“Otherwise, it was really a very, very smooth day, and we had lots of happy teachers and students, which of course leaves me happy,” she said.
Walker welcomed back around 830 students, up nearly 60 compared to last year when the school had 733 enrolled.
Slight scare at Campbell Middle School
District spokesman Jay Dillon said another one of the issues reported on Wednesday was when someone at Campbell Middle School in Smyrna discovered what they at first thought was a “suspicious package.”
“No one knew what it was but it ended up being a shot put in a box,” he said. “We believe someone could have just been out there practicing on the campus grounds and left it.”
He said they also had an issue when a crossing guard at Cheatham Hill Elementary School in Marietta didn’t show up.
“Principal Belinda Walters-Brazile ended up going out there and directing traffic, which if you know her, that isn’t surprising,” Dillon said.
Teasley Elementary School, where the student population is being split between two campuses while the district adds onto the original building off Spring Hill Road in Smyrna, was expecting a few first-day problems but Dillon said it ended up being OK.
“Things went remarkably well with the drop-off and pick-up,” he said. “Kindergarten and first-graders just stay on the buses and get taken to Brown Elementary.”
He said there were some minor transportation problems where a student did or didn’t get on the correct bus but nothing major happened in the end.
Kindergarten and first-grade students will be housed at Smyrna’s Brown Elementary for the next two years. Brown closed in May as a result of redistricting in south Cobb and is about three miles from Teasley on Brown Road.
Approximately $3.1 million in renovations and additions at Teasley were approved with the passage of SPLOST IV in March.
Teasley Principal Leslie Mansfield and her assistant principals are going to be splitting their days between the two schools until students are all under one roof again. It served approximately 730 students last year and the school capacity is around 450.
Principals pleased with how first day ended
Wheeler High School Principal David Chiprany, who has been the school’s leader since 2009, said students and teachers at the east Cobb school off Holt Road had a great first day.
“The excitement of the new building permeated across our campus,” he said. “Through the collaborative efforts of our parents, students and staff, we have had a wonderful first day of school.”
The school opened the doors to its new $21.1 million building Wednesday to ninth-through 12th-graders.
He wasn’t sure how many students were on campus Wednesday, but last March Wheeler served 1,985 students.
Peter Manson, who is starting his second year as the principal at Russell Elementary in Smyrna, claimed that his approximately 750 students were thrilled to be back at school.
“The kids were pretty excited,” he said.
There were approximately 733 students enrolled last March at the elementary school off South Hurt Road.
Teachers, members of the community, Parent-Teacher Association members and School Board Member Tim Stultz welcomed the new students with a pep rally.
“Our theme for this year is ‘Win the Day,’” Manson said. “It was just an awesome experience for our students and a way to set the tone for the year.”
Manson tries to have a first-day theme each year. Last year the school rolled out a red carpet for students.