Kids feel good, parents feel better

REX — Young Quentin Knox says he feels “good” to be returning to school next week — but you can bet he doesn’t feel half as good about it as his mother Natisha does.

“Yes, I think they’ve been out long enough,” she said, smiling, while standing in a crowded hallway with Quentin and his brother Isiah at Roberta T. Smith Elementary School in Rex.

The Knoxes were among thousands of parents and children who visited their new school homes during Thursday’s system-wide open house in anticipation of the school year.

“They’re ready. They’re definitely ready,” said Smith ESOL teacher Linda Canada.

Classes in Clayton County public schools start Monday for about 52,000 students. That’s roughly the same number of students that attended last year, said system spokesman David Waller.

“Right now, we’re pretty stable,” he said.

The open houses were an opportunity for students and parents to see their classrooms and meet their teachers. While some students also registered Thursday, most had already taken care of it.

During a lull in activity in the Smith office, secretary Nancy Mirr said she had signed up between 60 and 75 students Thursday but that “we try to get ’em in way before then.”

Waller said that schools will accept students whenever they need to register but recommended that nobody wait until Monday.

“If they come in Monday morning, they will spend most of the day in the counselors’ offices,” Waller said.

He suggested instead the last-minute registrants visit their schools Friday afternoon. Schools system wide will essentially be shut down Friday morning while staff and teachers attend a convocation at Tara Stadium.

Parents wanting to register their children should bring valid identification, a birth certificate or other legal proof of birth, the student’s social security card or waiver, certificates of ear, eye and dental screening, state certificate of immunization and two proofs of residency.

Parents unsure of which school their children should attend can visit Clayton County Public Schools’ revamped website at http://www.clayton.k12.ga.us/. Click “students and parents” on the left side and then go to “school & bus locator.” Type in a street address only — no city — and choose the grade level for the correct school.