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Smooth ride so far
School starts back with few issues, officials sayTransportation was only problem

Area students started school this past week, and superintendents are smiling.

"We've just had the smoothest beginning," Warren County Superintendent Carole Jean Carey said. "We had the best open houses and probably the smoothest beginning we've ever had. It's been wonderful."

Open house for Warren County was Friday, and the first day of school began bright and early Monday morning.

"The teachers and kids were already settling down to business in the first few minutes, so that's what we like," Mrs. Carey said.

McDuffie County schools started two days earlier than their neighboring county. Superintendent Jim LeBrun said the Friday opening "went exceptionally well."

"The only real issues we had were pretty normal for the first day of school," he said, adding that road construction on the Georgia Highway 17 bypass was the biggest issue. "We were really hoping that construction could have been completed prior to the start of school. But it was not, so we'll just have to deal with it."

McDuffie bus drivers did not have quite as smooth a start. Mr. LeBrun said there were some new bus routes with new bus numbers.

"So, of course more kids will miss the bus the first few days," he said. "But we were on duty until the last child got home."

Not only were there new bus routes, but there also weren't quite enough drivers. Mr. Le-Brun added that they were four bus drivers short for all of the system's routes.

"So we are in the hiring mode. If there's anybody out there with a commercial driver's license or willing to get one, they can contact our personnel department," he said.

Briarwood Academy began their year Thursday with slightly fewer students than last year. Headmaster John Hammond said he feels the lower number probably is a reflection of the economy.

"School's going great," he said. "The children's attitude is very good. They are excited about starting school."

Mr. Hammond said Briarwood has a new baseball field this year and will renovate the softball field as soon as the season is over.

Web posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009

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