Metro Atlanta students return to classrooms for first day of school

Metro Atlanta area teachers and students are headed back to school on Monday.

Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb students will be done with summer break and are scheduled to return to classrooms starting next week, with increased traffic expected on the roads.

Cobb and Atlanta Public Schools began school this week without major problems, education officials report.

Fulton, the fourth-largest school system in Georgia, has a projected enrollment of approximately 96,200 students – an increase of about 700 students from the previous school year. The system includes 101 schools – 57 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and eight startup charter schools.

This week, Fulton school bus drivers met for training sessions, bus readiness checks and test runs of their assigned routes. Teachers also reported back to school to prepare for the new year. By the summer’s end Fulton will have nearly 800 new teachers, bringing the district’s total number of educators to about 6,770.

Four new elementary schools will open this fall: Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School, 3353 Mount Olive Road, East Point; Heards Ferry Elementary School, 6151 Powers Ferry Road NW, Atlanta; College Park Elementary School, 2075 Princeton Ave., College Park, and a temporary site for Esther Jackson Elementary School, 1201 Alpharetta St., Roswell.

Esther Jackson is being temporarily relocated while a replacement facility is built on its current site in Roswell. Next August, when construction is complete, Esther Jackson will move back to its former location and the school at 1201 Alpharetta St. will reopen with a new name and student body.

Two new charter schools will open this fall as well in the former Oak Knoll Elementary campus in East Point: the Latin Grammar School, a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school; and the Latin College Preparatory School, a sixth- through eighth-grade middle school. They will serve approximately 120 students each this first year and are expected to grow as new grades are added.

In addition, Main Street Academy, which previously leased classroom and office space in College Park, has purchased the former Harriet Tubman Elementary School property and will start the school year at that location.

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