Despite changes to some bus routes and attendance zones in northern Beaufort County, the 2014-15 public school year got off to a smooth start, school district officials said Monday.
The Beaufort County School District received only a few calls about late buses or missed stops, district spokesman Jim Foster said.
Also, all students reported to the correct schools, even after minor changes to attendance zones sent some students previously attending Coosa Elementary School to Lady's Island Elementary School, according to head of student services Gregory McCord.
"We made a lot of changes this year, so to have fewer than 20 minor hiccups is phenomenal, I think," McCord said, referring to some minor transportation problems. "With increased numbers in just about each of our schools ... we didn't see or experience much of anything that would give me concern."
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Some parents reported confusion at Robert Smalls International Academy during morning drop-off, as the school welcomed students in grades kindergarten through fourth to the middle school that previously served only fifth- through eighth-graders. Principal Nicole Holloman said that was to be expected with such a big transition, and she anticipates parents and students will fall into a routine in the coming days.
"Considering that we included an additional 300-plus students (at the start of this year), things went incredibly well," she said. "I could not have asked for a better first day."
In southern Beaufort County, things went smoothly as well, Foster said.
The only major concern was traffic at the Hilton Head Island schools' campuses at dismissal times, as parents and students adjusted to a new start time at the high school.
Instead of Hilton Head High beginning school at 7:45 a.m. and letting out at about 2:30 p.m., as in previous years, classes now begin at 8:35 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
The adjustment is intended to better suit high school students' biological clocks and improve their academic performance. But it also makes for a traffic tangle, as those times now overlap with the adjacent elementary school's dismissal, some schools officials said.
McCord said the district will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments where needed.
If the trial proves successful over the year, superintendent Jeff Moss has said he will consider rolling the new times out to the other high schools in the district.
Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.
- School district changes bus routes, adds GPS tracking, August 10, 2014
- 350 Beaufort County 7th-graders need vaccine to stay in school, September 10, 2013
- Beaufort students head back to school: Few hiccups reported Monday morning, August 19, 2013
- Beaufort County school board amends attendance zone plan, to vote Tuesday, March 29, 2014
- Hilton Head High to have later start time next school year, March 8, 2014