BYRON -- Students in Peach County will go back to school Tuesday, three weeks later than planned so work could be finished on $8 million in heating and air improvements systemwide.
The system is also set to return to a five-day week after trying a four-day week for the past three years to save money.
School Board Chairman Jamie Johnson said a few parents have complained about the pushed back start date, but most have said they like starting school after Labor Day.
A lot of the community has given us kudos for it and want us to consider it for next year, Johnson said. We will look at the positives of that.
The days will be made up by adding a week to the end of the year, and from other days in between that had been planned as breaks. The Christmas break, for example, will be a little shorter than normal this year, Johnson said.
Transitioning back to a five-day week has not been a major issue, he said.
I think the adjustment going back to five days has been a better adjustment than going to four days, he said. It really hasnt been a big hassle as far as going back to the five day.
The school board voted to return to the five-day week because board members said the four-day week did not achieve the savings that had been projected.
The school system held an open house at all of the schools Thursday. Parents and students poured into Byron Elementary School as soon as the doors opened. Opinions were mixed about going back to a five-day week, but there was universal agreement that the air conditioning was much better.
Robert Douglas was there with his boys, Cody, 6, and Hunter, 8. They noticed a distinct improvement in temperature.
It was muggy in here last year, Douglas said.
He and Hunter agreed they preferred the four-day week. Hunter said he liked having three days off from school, and Douglas said it was easier for him because a baby sitter allowed for more flexibility in pickup time.
April Randall, a second grade math and science teacher, said she and most of the other teachers are glad to go back to a five-day week.
Its going to allow more instructional time with the kids, she said.
She also believed the new air conditioning and better lighting will create a better learning environment.
When its hot, it gets frustrating for me and the kids, she said.
Johnson said all of the heating and air work will be finished when the schools open. He remembered going into the schools on the first day last year and noticing how hot it was.
I think its going to be a lot more comfortable, he said. Last year we had a whole wing we pretty much had to shut down because it was unbearable.
The work led to the delay of school because otherwise it would have cost $75,000 to get the project completed in time for the original Aug. 13 start date.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.