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Back-to-school traffic
Some waits, some changes
school bus stop sign

Parents driving children to school can expect to see changes in traffic patterns on some campuses Wednesday when the Bulloch County Schools start their 2018–19 term.

As always, officials advise parents, older students who drive and anyone who will be sharing the road with them to exercise extra caution and patience the first day or two. With many more parents driving children the first few days and often walking with them into the schools, parking lots fill up and lines sometimes develop, especially at elementary schools.

"There tends to be higher traffic volume the first week of school at all of the schools until people really get into that bus routine, and then it drops off," said Hayley Greene, Bulloch County Schools public relations and marketing specialist. "So we'd encourage people to leave themselves that extra time in the morning to get to school."

Paving projects

Paving projects funded by the E-SPLOST, or Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, have been completed over summer break at two of the larger elementary schools.

At Julia P. Bryant Elementary School, an additional parking area has been paved and a new access drive added.

At Sallie Zetterower Elementary School, the addition is a right-turn-only lane onto Cawana Road. Now, there are separate turn lanes for turning left or right when leaving the school.

"So both of those projects will affect traffic flow for parents, in positive ways," Greene said.

Bus zone shift

Meanwhile, some families are subject to a transportation zone change designed to relieve crowding at Mill Creek Elementary School, which was full to 96 percent capacity, she said.

Initially, fewer than 30 children who were previously assigned to Mill Creek have been reassigned to buses that will take them to either Sallie Zetterower Elementary School or Mattie Lively Elementary School, depending on their home addresses.

A transportation zone shift is different from an attendance zone change because only the bus routes are altered. Parents in the affected areas still have the option of driving their children to Mill Creek Elementary if they wish to keep them enrolled there, but school bus transportation will be provided only to one of the newly assigned schools.

Additionally, parents in the affected areas whose children do not ride a school bus also have the option of enrolling them at the newly assigned school in their transportation zone, Greene said. The more recently built Sallie Zetterower and Mattie Lively schools were designed to accommodate growth and still have plenty of capacity, she said.

An item under "Bulloch County School News" at the system website, www.bulloch.k12.ga.us, lists the affected streets and gives other details.

Although some specific schools, such as Mill Creek, have operated nearer capacity, the Bulloch County school system's elementary schools, on average, are enrolled to 77 percent capacity, Greene reported.

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