I am pleased to announce a new initiative for our school system which will better serve our families. Come Jan. 14, a central registration office will open to register all new students and any students who change school zones. Our primary goal is improved customer service. In addition to better service, a major benefit will be a more consistent registration process across all 38 schools.
The central site also will be especially convenient for our parents who have children in more than one school. At this one-stop shop, parents will register their children and obtain information on the services our schools offer our youth, whether the student is regular education, gifted and talented or special needs. They also will be provided with information on transportation regarding the bus stops, bus number and schedule. Homeless families also will meet with our homeless liaison for any additional needed help.
Our International Newcomer Welcome Center will be at the Central Registration facility to help smooth the transition for international students and their families, especially those whose first language is not English. If appropriate, our staff will assess student English proficiency and determine placement for eligible students in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs. Information on school and community resources for parents of English learners will also be available.
We encourage our parents to complete the necessary forms in advance to bring along with the items required for registration, such as proof of address. These forms and a list of required items may be found on our website, www.hcbe.net, on our central registration page. The website also has other pertinent information, such as answers to anticipated questions.
We are excited about this initiative and look forward to serving our families in our new Central Registration office. The office will be located in the Bert Rumble Complex on South Davis Drive in Warner Robins. Decorated with student art and high school jerseys, visitors will get a sense of our school spirit and school pride. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house that will be held in February. Anyone interested in attending may check our website or call the central office at the end of January for the event date and time.
In closing, I want to take this opportunity to let the community know that our schools will be closed for the holidays beginning Dec. 20. Teachers will return on Jan. 2 and students will return Jan 3.
Robins Hines is superintendent of Houston County schools.