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First day of class beckons in Newton schools
Superintendent urges patience on roads around schools
Porterdale ES
The Porterdale Elementary School faculty and staff pose for a photo before the start of school Monday, Aug. 1. (Special | Newton County School System)

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County’s school superintendent urged parents to have patience as they travel on and around school campuses Monday on the first day of class as students return to begin the 2022-23 academic year.

The first day of class is set for Monday, Aug. 1, in Newton County School System schools, while Social Circle City Schools will return to class Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Newton County Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey told the Newton County School Board Tuesday that the first two weeks of class could include traffic delays around campuses as new students’ parents learn their ways around.

“People need to pack their patience while people are learning their routines and navigate car rider times and buses,” she said.

Fuhrey also stated in a video to parents recently that the school system had a number of safety and discipline features in place for the new year.

She said Newton County officials had not banned student use of cell phones as other Metro Atlanta school systems had done.

However, students will need “explicit permission” from school officials to use them, Fuhrey said.

In addition, parents will need to schedule meetings with school teachers and administrators before they go to a school because of safety concerns around unanticipated visitors, Fuhrey said.

“Our doors will remain locked for safety purposes,” she said.

School safety concerns came to the forefront after a 19-year-old apparently entered an elementary school through an unlocked door near San Antonio, Texas, earlier this year and shot and killed 19 children and two adults.

She also said officials are “highly” recommending masks be worn inside school buildings if students are unable to provide social distancing from others.

A fast-moving variant of COVID-19 prompted concerns in recent weeks after case levels began to increase sharply after months of declines.

Fuhrey said she was proud of the school system’s maintenance and custodial staffs who worked “around the clock” to get buildings ready for students — even in some facilities where upgrades were made over the summer such as Clements Middle School.  

“Our custodial team is working morning, noon and night to ensure that our schools are sparkling clean and ready for the first day of school,” she said.

For more information, call the child’s school or 770-787-1330, or visit