Security, traffic and lunches top school opening day

9:58 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- As the new school year kicks off, security, lunches and possible traffic jams crowd the agenda.

With more than 325,000 children and young adults about to start the school year, one of the biggest concerns for parents is school safety.

RESOURCE GUIDE: Back to School Guide 

In Atlanta, 73 School Resource Officers (SROs) will be added this year to patrol the city's 35 High School and Middle Schools.

In Gwinnett, 18 additional officers will be added to a force that already numbers 23.

"Our school resource officers actually are policemen and they are veteran policemen," said Sloan Roach, spokesperson for the Gwinnett Schools.

In Cobb, officers already patrol the County's 41 high school and middle schools but there are changes in the elementary schools.

"It used to be that parents could walk right into the front door of a school. They can no longer do that, now they have to use a buzzer system -- a buzz in system," said Jay Dillon, spokesperson for the Cobb County Board of Education.

And, on opening day nervous and impatient parents can expect big traffic jams.

Hundreds of school buses and thousands of cars will converge on schools in 3 counties.

School officials are putting up the yellow flag.

"If there are buses waiting they don't need to drive into the lane. We actually have parent pickup and drop off lanes and those are what we need to use," Roach said.

And when it comes to free school meals, Atlanta is taking the lead on a federal program.

Fifty-eight City schools will qualify this year for all students getting free breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

Be sure to go to the 11Alive Help Desk Resource Page for valuable school information that includes year-long calendars of events.

The page also features a complete rundown of what you can buy on Friday and Saturday, August 9-10 during Georgia Tax Free Day. 

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