Wiregrass Newsroom: A new school year means new changes for Geneva County Schools

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Slocumb, AL (WSFA) - School started Thursday for Geneva County Schools.  And this new school year is bringing new changes to the schedule at Slocumb High School, in Geneva County.

This year, the school starts at 7:45, about 10 minutes earlier than usual, and it's followed by four 90 minute blocks of class.

For the students, it's not much different than normal, but for teachers, the transition hasn't been easy.

Instead of teaching three blocks of class, they teach four in a row, and their planning period starts at 2:35.

That means the kids get out of school early, but teacher Amy Hendrix says, it's difficult to teach straight through the day without a break.

Even though the modified block schedule means a little extra work for teachers, it provides lots of benefits to students, including smaller class sizes and additional course offerings.

Mrs. Hendrix says one of her honors classes last year had 30 students, but with the new schedule, she only has 14 students.  "That's the way an honors class should be," she says.

Superintendent David Snell says, like every school system across the state, the proration increase forced them to make adjustments.  He said, "We didn't have many options, but we chose this one because a lot of it had to do with the cost of textbooks if we moved to a seven period day."

And down the road at Slocomb Elementary School, more changes, including a new man at the helm.

Mr. Steve Benton is one of the school system's three new principals, in addition to several new assistant principals.

He says that it's been smooth so far, except a minor traffic flow problem.

He said, "They really had no organized car line.  We're trying to fix it so that everyone is going in the same direction."

And while the first day of schools always comes with new obstacles, teachers are excited to have students back in their classroom.

Keeping the students the top priority, as they build the foundation for the next generation.