The 2011-12 school year ended with 28,200 students enrolled in Paulding County Schools, but Otott said the projected enrollment for the 2012-13 school year was 100 students less at 28,100.
The system closed P.B. Ritch Elementary, according to Otott, but P.B. Ritch Middle, located off Macland Road, opened its doors to students for the first time yesterday.
Students who previously attended P.B. Ritch Elementary were split between Hal Hutchens and Baggett elementary schools, according to Otott. The old school will be used as an auxiliary building for the district.
The new middle school is more tailored to the evolving technological climate in education.
“It will be a wireless facility,” Otott said. “We want to be more accommodating to initiatives that allow students to bring iPad, Kindle Fires and other tablets to school, because we know that’s the future.”
Otott said the school system would continue to work on meeting the needs of the district’s students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
“A lot of times test scores are higher in kindergarten and the younger ages and then as students get older, they dip,” he said. “Our commitment is from the minute they walk in.”
This year will mark the first year that Georgia schools implement Common Core Standards, another change for Paulding schools.
According to Bonnie Cochran, executive director of elementary schools for the county, said that these standards were developed to help streamline standards among states and to make the U.S. more competitive in education on an international level.
For now, the standards will be implemented in the areas of language arts and math, with a literacy concentration in science and social studies, according to Cochran.
New principals for 2012-13 include:
- Karnise Daniel, Baggett Elementary
- Gina King, Hal Hutchens Elementary
- Deryl Dennis, Dugan Elementary
- Kelli Day, Russom Elementary
- Jeff Robinson, Shelton Elementary
- Brett Taylor, East Paulding Middle
- Penny Tarallo, Moses Middle
- Cassandra Dobbs, P.B. Ritch Middle
- Jaynth Hayes, McClure Middle
- Gary Plunkett, Austin Middle
- Kim Fraker, East Paulding High
- Keith Rowland, South Paulding High