Newton students return for first day of school

COVINGTON — With the 2014-15 school year officially under way, thousands of Newton County students headed back to the classroom on Friday morning.

Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said the first day went smoothly throughout the school system.

“This has been one of the best starts to the school year ever,” Fuhrey said. “We thought last year was great, but this year has been even better. From the departure of the first bus and the serving of the first breakfast to the first classes of the day, all has gone off without a hitch.”

At Porterdale Elementary, students from pre-K to fifth-grade filled the halls ready to begin a new school year. With backpacks full of new pencils, fresh notebooks and crayons ready to color, students flocked to the classrooms where they will be spending the next few months.

Students at Porterdale were accompanied by their parents as they walked into the school’s doors on the first day. While parents and visitors typically have to sign in at the front office upon arrival, this procedure was nullified on the first day due to the number of parents and guardians wanting to walk their children to their new classrooms.

In addition to parents and students, school staff were getting ready for the dawn of another school year. Porterdale Assistant Principal Renee Evans is looking forward to the school’s prospects for the year.

“We’re really excited for this year, and we’re getting ready for the Georgia Milestones,” said Evans.

The Georgia Milestones assessment, a statewide standardized exam that tests students’ abilities on the academic areas aligned with Georgia Common Core, is set to replace both the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests and End of Course Tests in 2014-15.

Fuhrey credited the hard work of educators and administrators for the smooth start to the school year.

“All of the Newton County School System team’s preparation for the opening of our schools has paid off,” Fuhrey said. “I am very proud of our students and staff. From my observations, it has been a fantastic first day. We are looking forward to a productive, focused and fun school year.”

Newton County students have 179 school days remaining until summer vacation begins May 22.