DHS 2021 grad

Members of Dalton High School’s class of 2021 prepare to march onto Harmon Field for graduation. The class of 2022 will have graduation at Harmon Field at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, while The Dalton Academy will hold its graduation at its on-campus athletic field on Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m.

Dalton Junior High, Dalton High School and Dalton Academy students will have a few extra minutes to get through morning traffic — or, perhaps, a few additional moments of sleep — as Dalton Public Schools will start the day later for them next school year.

Members of the Dalton Board of Education voted 5-0 Monday to move the start time for Dalton Junior High, Dalton High School and The Dalton Academy to 7:35 a.m. during the 2022-23 school year, 15 minutes later than the start time this school year. Their day will still conclude at 2 p.m., so students will have shorter FLT (Flexible Learning Time) periods to make up the difference.

FLT is time built into the schedules of each secondary school that students use to get further enrichment or other assistance, said Pat Holloway, Dalton Public Schools’ chief of staff. Students are assigned to subject areas where they need help or further enrichment, and “the time is flexible so that if a student masters a subject area, then he or she might be assigned to another teacher in a different subject for that time.”

“The reason for the change is to address the traffic issue we have at Dalton Junior High School and The Dalton Academy,” which share a campus, said Holloway. “We were seeing a lot of students who were tardy due to the heavy traffic on the bypass and at the school, so we are starting 15 minutes later next year to hopefully ease some of that problem.”

Elementary start and end times, as well as the start and end times for Hammond Creek Middle School, will remain the same.

Elementary schools start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. while Hammond Creek starts at 8:35 a.m. and concludes at 3:35 p.m.

Enrollment and graduation Dalton Public Schools has 7,798 students, up 115 from this point last year, Superintendent Tim Scott reported during Monday’s meeting. That’s “a good number, and we’re going in the right direction.”

The Dalton Academy has its first graduation ceremony Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. on the school’s football/soccer/lacrosse field, Scott said. Dalton High has graduation Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. at Harmon Field.

Summer construction The Dalton High campus will be closed this summer for construction and renovations, so there will be no public access to the swimming pool nor the weight room, said Rusty Lount, Dalton Public Schools’ director of operations. Most weights will be moved to Dalton Junior High School for the summer and can be used there.

The pool should be accessible again when the 2022-23 school year begins, Lount said. Roughly 30 parking spots will also be taken this summer by worker vehicles and equipment, but “that’s a pretty small area” of Dalton High’s parking lot.

Most athletics this summer usually held at Dalton High will move to the new field at The Dalton Academy/junior high campus, Lount said. Band camp will be relocated to Park Creek School as it was in 2016, the last time Dalton High’s campus was closed during the summer.

“We are still experiencing a lot of delays on supplies” for work at Dalton High and other schools, Lount said. For example, the scoreboard for the new stadium on The Dalton Academy/junior high campus was “supposed to be here in December (2021), and now I hope to have it in August, but we are going to keep forging ahead, (as contractors) understand we want as much done as humanly possible” during the summer before the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Property and casualty insurance Dalton Public Schools will have a new property and casualty insurer for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1.

The school board members voted 5-0 to approve Georgia School Boards Association Risk Management Services for an amount of $204,642. Georgia School Boards Association Risk Management Services offers protection through its group-self-insurance plans for workers’ compensation, property and liability risks.

It was “staff recommendation” to make the switch from McGriff Insurance Brokers, with whom Dalton Public Schools “had a long relationship,” said Theresa Perry, chief financial officer. “The problem with (them) is we’re in the private insurance market,” while Georgia School Boards Association Risk Management Services is dedicated to school systems.

Also, “we’ll be part of a pool, which helps us control costs,” she said. It could even lead to being paid dividends if “dividends are paid” in a given year.

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