School district heads in Fulton, DeKalb counties talk back to school

Students in DeKalb and Fulton counties will be heading back to school on Monday after a long summer break. With the start of the new academic year just around the corner, superintendents from both counties addressed the community today to provide insights into what students, parents, and staff can expect in the coming months.

In DeKalb County, the newly appointed Superintendent, Dr. Devon Horton, revealed his vision for the district. Dr. Horton emphasized his commitment to elevating the science of reading among students and expressed his hopes to enhance students' math skills. The district is gearing up for a year of academic growth and is determined to foster a conducive learning environment to ensure students' success.

Across the county line, in Fulton County, Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney shared his enthusiasm for the return of students to the classrooms. Dr. Looney expressed confidence in the staff's readiness to welcome students and support them in their learning journeys. Reflecting on the previous year, he mentioned that it was a year of tremendous progress for the students, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the school staff in nurturing a supportive atmosphere.

One of the significant challenges both counties are facing ahead of the school reopening is the shortage of school bus drivers. With routes in the northern part of the county being most affected, some drivers are having to double up on routes to accommodate the transportation needs. Chief Operations Officer of Fulton County Schools, Noel Maloof, shared that approximately 20 plus schools are currently experiencing double routes in the morning, leading to minor schedule adjustments for affected students.

In the midst of these challenges, both counties are actively working to address the shortage and are making efforts to hire more school bus drivers to ensure a smooth transportation experience for students.

Wednesday will mark the start of the new academic year for several other metro counties, including Gwinnett County, Coweta County, Clayton County, Henry County, and about ten other districts. Educators and students in these counties are gearing up for a fresh start and a year filled with opportunities for growth and learning.

As the first day of school approaches, students, parents, and teachers are eager to embark on a successful academic journey. With superintendents and school staff committed to fostering a positive and enriching environment, the 2023-2024 academic year promises to be an exciting one for education in the region.