Schools were back in session for the spring semester on Jan. 8.
According to J.D. Hardin, the school system’s spokesperson, thus far in the school year, no huge changes in policy were enacted, aside from changes in the bus system.
The three tier bus route, as the system is referred to, was presented in Jan. 2012 and officially implemented at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
The new system separated routes for elementary, middle and high schools in Henry County schools.
Before, to and from school, students riding the bus could be among students from different grade levels.
For instance, a middle schooler would share the same bus with high schoolers.
Discipline issues were a major concern of shared bus routes from before, issues which it is believed the system alleviated.
“The move to this system helped separate the three school-level groups from riding the bus with one another,” said Hardin.
There was, according to Hardin, a bit of resistance once the tier system was first put into place but there seems to be more ease now.
“While changes to the start times did cause some congestion at a few of the schools, we worked hard to correct any situations where congestion and traffic patterns were causing disruptions,” said Hardin.
To execute the new bus system, school times had to be adjusted. High schools start 20 minutes earlier and end 25 minutes earlier.
Middle schools, on the other hand, start 20 minutes later and end 10 minutes later.
Student enrollment thus far has hit a level that was unexpected.
Before the school year started, it was anticipated that numbers of students would lessen.
“For enrollment, we projected before this year to have a decrease,” he said.
“When school started, we actually saw an increase in our numbers from the previous year. We are now back over the 40,000 student mark.”
Graduation season is upcoming for many seniors in the Henry.
Currently, Hardin said there are 2,772 seniors.
“I can’t say that they will all graduate because there is a lot of time between now and may for things to happen that may prohibit a student from being able to get their diploma,” he said. “We hope not, but that can happen.”