Dougherty County School System

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I call if I have a question?
Questions about procedures or activities at a school are best answered by calling the school. Telephone numbers for all schools, departments, and administrative offices are listed in our school directory. 
 
What are school hours?
Elementary schools (grades K-5) begin the day at 8:00 a.m. and dismiss at 2:30 p.m.  Middle schools (grades 6-8) begin at 8:15 and dismiss at 3:15 p.m.  High schools (grades 9-12) vary. Please contact the school for this information.
 
Are our schools accredited?
All Dougherty County Schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They are accredited with quality by the Georgia Accrediting Commission. Continued accreditation involves periodic reevaluation by committees of outside educators as well as self-study by the principal and school staff.
 
When are report cards sent home?
All students (grades 1-12) receive report cards every nine weeks.  Report card dates are listed in our School Calendar.
 
What grading system do you use?
Kindergarten students are evaluated during the year to determine their readiness for first grade.  All other grades use the following grading system:

A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
F = 69.9 and below
 
What does it cost to eat at school?
Both breakfast and lunch are provide free-of-charge. Menus are posted monthly on the school system web site.
 
Can my child ride a bus to school?
Bus transportation is provided for students who live 1.5 miles or more from their assigned school. Students new to the system should call the Transportation Department at (229) 431-1265 for their bus schedules.
 
At what age will my child start school?
To enter a Georgia pre-kindergarten program, eligible* students must be four by September 1. To enter a Georgia public kindergarten, students must be five by September 1, and to enter first grade, students must be six by that date. (*Please call the Pre-K program at (229) 431-1290 for eligibility requirements.)
 
What information must I provide to register my child in a Dougherty Co. school for the first time?
An official birth certificate must be furnished at registration. Parents are asked to present verification of address in the form of a utility statement. Students enrolling in Georgia schools are requested to present an official copy of their social security number. In order to attend a Georgia school, students in all grades must have proof of immunization against eight diseases -- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (DPT), polio and chicken pox. Georgia law also requires students to have eye, ear and dental examinations. Health certificates are available from physicians or from the Dougherty County Health Department at 1710 S. Slappey Blvd. Children born after 1992 are required to have a HEP B injection. Students entering the sixth grade are required to get a second dose of the MMR vaccine and are required to prove they are immune to chicken pox. Students entering ninth grade must have an adult tetanus shot for their immunization record to be up to date.
 
How do I know which school my child will attend?
Geographically, the school system covers a 326 square-mile area. The system is divided into six districts, each represented by a School Board member. Dougherty County students are enrolled in schools according to attendance zones, unless they are attending a magnet school. Students are required by law to attend school in the zone in which their parents or legal guardians reside. Residents who need information about school attendance zones may call the system's Transportation Office (229) 431-1265 for assistance.

Do you charge out-of-county tuition?
Yes. Interested parents should contact the superintendent's office at (229) 431-1285 for tuition information and payment options.
 
Does the school system provide an after school program for students?
The system offers the Extended Day Program for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students. It is open until 6:15 p.m. Before school care is offered at 6:45 a.m. in many, but not all, DCSS schools. Please call the Extended Day Office at (229) 431-1280 for more information.
 
Are our schools safe?
As part of the Safe Schools Plan, weekly unannounced searches of middle and high schools are conducted. The school system enforces a "zero tolerance" policy against weapons, drugs and alcohol on campus. Individual schools under the School Improvement Plan have initiated their own safety measures. These include fencing, cameras, and metal detectors.
 
What student services does the system provide?
All schools, including elementary schools, have at least one counselor. The school system maintains a staff of social workers and psychologists to meet student needs as well. The Exceptional Students Program provides services to students with identified disabilities. Oak Tree Psychological Program provides services for severely emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disoriented students. Peer helping, Student Assistance Support groups and Drug Prevention Programs are available for students. Crisis Intervention Teams provide assistance during emergencies and in critical situations.

Gifted education programs are provided for gifted-identified students in grades K-12.