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First day of school goes well
Bryan County High School seniors were welcomed back to school by parents Rhonda Fortner, Jeanette Taylor and Kevin Taylor, among others. The parents got up early Wednesday morning to put welcome signs out in front of the school.
School bells rang in the 2010-2011 school year for Bryan Schools on Wednesday, and the first day got high marks from the district’s top officer.
 The rest of the week apparently followed suit.
“Everything went beautifully,” Superintendent John Oliver said. “We really had a good start.”
And it was an early start one for some parents. In Pembroke, a group of Bryan County High School parents went out of their way to make the morning special.
They gathered before 7 a.m. along Camilla Drive to display a large handmade sign that listed by name every member of the Class of 2011 and urged them to enjoy their senior year.
That came after they planted nearly two dozen Paine Bacon campaign signs recycled into “welcome back” messages for various seniors.
“It was a long process – we didn‘t get a lot of sleep, but it is worth it,” said Jeanette Taylor, part of a group that included Kevin Taylor, Christopher Taylor, Diane Ennis, Cindy Purcell and Rhonda Fortner.
And at Bryan County Elementary School, soldiers with the 1st Infantry Brigade at Ft. Stewart and the Adopt-a-Soldier program were on hand to welcome kids back to school as they arrived. They passed out school supplies and greeted students as they got off of buses.
In Richmond Hill, there were the predictable traffic lines as more than 400 parents dropped off or picked up children from Richmond Hill Primary, Carver Elementary or Richmond Hill Elementary – combined the three schools have around  2,500 students and are located adjacent to one another off Frances Meeks Way.
But Oliver, who rode a few buses this week, said he didn’t get any complaints from parents. He credited the staggered start times first instituted last year for helping make life easier – especially for kids who ride the bus.
“It’s a balancing act, but somebody along the line has done a good job with that, and it truly works out well,” he said.
In all, there were 7,149 kids in school on Thursday as compared to 6,706 children on the first day last year.
But by the end of the 2009-2010 school year Bryan Schools had an enrollment of 7,263. And school officials expect the enrollment to climb this year as well.
“By the time we’re through we’ll see some gains,” Oliver said. “But I’ll be surprised if we come close to our projection of 7,400.”
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