For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools systems in Hinesville and Savannah, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in both cities as well.
To be enrolled in a Georgia school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, the child’s previous school records and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. Required immunizations for a child enrolling in kindergarten are as follows: four doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; three doses of polio; two doses of measles, mumps and rubella; three doses of hepatitis B; and two doses of varicella. For more details on Georgia’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org.
In 2010, Georgia, along with 42 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity, adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development for the 2017-18 school year, though Georgia has state standards across the full curriculum. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Charter-Schools.
For an introduction to home schooling in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Pages/Home-Schools.aspx. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, testing information, home-school curriculum providers and more.
Coastal Homeschool Athletic Association
The Coastal Homeschool Athletic Association was formed in August 2010 to promote sporting activities for teenage home-schooled athletes in the coastal Georgia and Lowcountry South Carolina regions. The association currently offers football, basketball, baseball and soccer.
Southern Mamas serves as a network for home-schooled families, connecting them with after-school activities, kid-friendly local events, music and art lessons, sports, and a variety of child-rearing topics.
To search for local private schools in Georgia, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Bryan County Schools
8810 Highway 280
Black Creek, GA 31308 912-851-4000
Bryan County Schools have an enrollment of approximately 5,600 students. The district has four elementary schools, two primary schools, two middle schools and two high schools and serves the communities of Belfast, Black Creek, Blitchton, Ellabell, Fort Stewart, Keller, Pembroke and Richmond Hill.
Liberty County School System
200 Bradwell St.
Hinesville, GA 31313..................912-876-2161
The Liberty County School System has seven elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. There is also an alternative education learning center for grades six through 12, a pre-K center and a vocational school. The district has an enrollment of approximately 11,300.
Public School System
208 Bull St.
Savannah, GA 31401 912-395-5600
The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System is composed of 26 elementary schools, nine combined elementary and middle schools, nine middle schools, 11 high schools and numerous education centers. The district has an enrollment of approximately 35,000.