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A smooth and busy start to the school year
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It’s been a smooth start, for the most part, to the 2015-16 school year, Effingham County Superintendent Randy Shearouse.

Classes began last Thursday, and enrollment already is burgeoning at the county’s 14 schools. According to Shearouse, enrollment is up 3.2 percent or 347 students on day three of this school year, compared to day of 2014-15. For day 4, the number is up 278 from the previous school year.

“We have had a smooth start to the school year,” he said, “other than some traffic snarls due to the increased number of cars on the road. It looks like the most growth we’ve had since 2006.”

The system processed 131 registrations and 65 address changes in May and 121 registrations and 21 address changes in June. Shearouse pointed out that the central registration center signed in 229 new students from June 1-20 last year. During that same period this year, 349 new students were registered with Effingham County schools. Most of the new registrations are for schools in the southern end of the county.

There were 107 new employees at the school system’s July 23 orientation at Effingham County Middle School, up by seven from last year’s total. School system administrators also project adding 77 new certified and 55 new classified employees, an increase over last year’s total of 68 new classified employees and 43 new classified personnel.

There also are about 25 new teachers in the system and about 50 teachers who are new to the county.

At their Aug. 4 meeting, school board members agreed on the new Rincon Elementary School site approval with the state Department of Education. The board’s action means the property is still good on which to build a school, Shearouse said.

The school system has been in talks with the city of Rincon to provide water and sewer service to the property, which is on Fort Howard Road.
“That is very important to that site,” Shearouse said.

The superintendent also said the schools have requested to have the property annexed into Rincon, and that could happen in September or October.

The current Rincon Elementary, on Highway 21 and 4th Street, was built in 1962. Construction on the new school could begin as soon as January 2016, and a new Rincon Elementary may be ready for students for the 2017-18 school year.