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School starts back Friday; up to 2800 expected

It is still summer but students at Lamar County schools will head back to campus beginning this week for the 2016-17 school year. Open houses at all schools are set for Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. School officially starts Friday morning. Enrollments always fluctuate at the start of school but school officials are expecting 2700-2800 students when everything shakes out. ’We are looking forward to a fantastic start of another great year for Lamar County Schools. This is always an exciting time for the community. We have a strong team of administrators, teachers and support staff in place to ensure our children receive an excellent educational experience,’ superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson said. The big news for parents is a change in the dress code that no longer requires collared shirts. ‘Our middle and high school leadership teams reviewed and revised student dress codes in order to clarify and update the policy to meet the needs of students, families and our community. We have not lowered our expectations or standards. We felt our students are responsible and mature enough to continue to report to school with modest and appropriate attire. This gives families more flexibility. It’s not easy to find clothing for young women with collars to wear everyday,’ Dr. Wilson added. All primary and elementary school students are eligible to receive free breakfasts and lunches through December with completion of paperwork. School system personnel have been busy over the summer with maintenance work and improvements. Old lights in the gyms at the primary, elementary and middle schools have been replaced with high-efficiency LED lighting. Two-level safety entrances were installed at the primary and elementary schools. The exterior of the primary school was pressure washed and new metal gutters installed. The elementary school got a new state-of-the-art computer lab and the interior was repainted.New carpeting was installed at the middle school, the cafeteria got new chairs and new cafeteria lighting is in the works. The tennis courts were resurfaced at the athletic complex. A new system-wide computer server was installed and intercom and camera upgrades were made on all campuses.

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