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Morgan County Schools have a smooth opening

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

Superintendent Bob Balch said the opening of the school year Monday for Morgan County Schools was almost glitch- free.

Morgan County was the first of the school systems in The Daily's three-county area to start the 2007-08 school year.

Public schools in Athens, Decatur, Hartselle and Lawrence and Limestone counties ring in the new year Thursday.

"I thought it went great," Balch said. "Every system has those minor glitches like a longer line than usual in a lunchroom, but it was a smooth opening."

As a result of state monitoring, school officials changed the bus route for dropping off and picking up students on the Falkville Elementary campus.

Balch said the original route required buses back up after loading or unloading and the new route eliminated this kink.

"As far as I know, it went well at Falkville," Balch said.

Morgan County continues to deal with growth in several areas, so Balch and other school officials are watching enrollment.

Enrollment changes daily before the numbers reach a steady point after a few weeks of school.

For example, the school system added 156 students on the second day of classes, pushing total enrollment to 7,674.

Balch said Priceville (579 to 651) and West Morgan (486 to 507) elementaries; Danville High School (359 to 377) and Eva School (402 to 430) are showing increased numbers compared to last year.

"It's too early to tell if we're going to have to add teachers anywhere," Balch said. "We'll have a better idea when enrollment settles down."

Adding teachers is a particular budget concern for Morgan County because it's under a state mandate to cut expenses.

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