Second grade teacher Megan Donnelly (left) greets Aniya Bowden (right) during the first day of school at Brumby Elementary School in Marietta, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/AJC
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/AJC

Cobb welcomes students back to school on a rainy day

Don’t have children? Well, if it seemed like there were suddenly 1,000 extra yellow buses on the roads today, you’re not mistaken.

If you have children: Welcome to the school year.

The first students are in classrooms throughout Cobb County for a dreary start to the 2018-2019 school year.

READDo you know any of Cobb County’s 2018 teachers of the year?

READCobb County School District 2018-19 calendar

Cobb begins the year with two shiny new schools: Brumby Elementary and East Cobb Middle, both open for the first year in their new buildings.

There were two dozen or so families lined up outside Brumby Elementary by the time Stephanie Matheny and her 5-year-old daughter Lena got there at 7 a.m.


After a breakfast of oatmeal and and oranges, Lena was ready to go for her first day of first grade.

She had an idea of what it’d be like: “The lunch room is big and the gym is big.”

Lena had with her a pink Disney princess umbrella because of the impending rain. And not five minutes after getting into line, the sky opened up and the school let families into the lobby ahead of the scheduled 7:15 time.

Matheny, 40, went to the old Brumby, a circular building many said looked like a space ship that had just landed. Her daughter will attend the 168,000-square-foot facility with the newest the county has to offer.

We broke down how Cobb County and Marietta schools did last year with the recently released Milestones data.

The new school cost about $22.8 million in special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, funds. East Cobb Middle, which is on the same property as Brumby, cost $28.7 million in SPLOST funds, according to the county.

The land was once a family farm spanning 40 acres where children feasted on blackberries and muscadines between playing in cow pastures.

The county bought the land from the family for $9.4 million. Much of the family went to Brumby, East Cobb and Wheeler schools.

Matheny said her daughter, like her, will do the same and graduate a Wheeler Wildcat.

“She’s a smart tater,” said Matheny, who waits tables at a Ruby Tuesday’s. “My kid is on the way to college.”

Students wait to be guided to their teachers during the first day of school at Brumby Elementary School in Marietta, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Prince Howard, 40, carried a green Publix tote filled with glue and zip-top bags and other supplies for his 5-year-old daughter Gabrielle into Brumby for the first day of kindergarten.

Gabrielle said she wasn’t nervous, instead excited to meet her teacher.

The first day being in August was a departure from last year’s July 31 start, which drew ire and an online petition from folks who felt it was too early.

At Harrison High School in Kennesaw, a chorus teacher was leaning in to hear her students’ vocals, and students rolled dice for a probability experiment in a math class.

Kimberly Johnson, who teaches algebra and geometry, was walking her class of freshman around to give them rules and tips:

You get five minutes in the bathroom. Don’t vape in the bathroom; everyone can smell a cloud of grape smoke pouring from the doorway. This vending machine is better than that one.

After the tour, they all shuffled into her classroom, and the classwork began.

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Here’s what the superintendent had to say at the start of school last year...

Cobb County school superintendent Chris Ragsdale talks about the new school year at McEachern High School. video by John Spink/AJC

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