What you need to know before your kid heads back to school

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

AUGUSTA, Ga ((WRDW/WAGT)) -- To help you get ready for the upcoming school year we've put together a list of a few things you may want to know, starting with registration.

1) If you haven't registered yet you still have time, you can get the process started at the links below. Richmond County's registration can be completed online, you can only start the process online for Columbia County. You have to go into a school to complete it.
Click here for Richmond County Registration information.
Click here for Columbia County Registration information.

2) Bus routes have changed in both Richmond and Columbia counties this year.
You can head to either county website, plug in your address and see your child's route.
Click here for more on Richmond County bus routes.
Click here for more on Columbia County bus routes.

3) Along with bus changes in Richmond County, 20 schools have new start times.You can check the schedule on the county website for your child's start time. In Columbia County, elementary school goes from 8:40 to 3:40, Middle school is 7:30 to 2:35, and high school is 7:35 to 2:45.

Click here for Richmond County Start Times.

4) Making sure your kid gets food is also a big deal. Almost all Richmond County school students get free lunches without applying, but new this year if your child goes to Davidson Fine Arts, Freedom Park, or C.T. Walker Magnet School you'll have to apply for free lunch. You can pick up an application at the school.
In Columbia County all students have to apply for free or reduced lunch.

Click here to apply.

5) If you plan on going inside your child's school this year you'll need to have some identification. You'll have to be buzzed in and you'll need to show your ID at the front desk.

6) As technology continues to evolve the school systems are starting to use Apps more and more. If your child goes to school in Richmond County you can download Safe Stop for information on their bus route and where and when it picks up and drops off. Columbia County also has an app called Purposity. There you can donate to help provide services like clothing and food to students and families in need.

7) Both counties are opening up new schools this year. The two new schools in Richmond County are Wheeless Road Elementary and Richmond Hill K-8.
In Columbia County, the new North Harlem Elementary school will open next week.

8) This year Richmond County is opening up a wrap-around center where students and their families who are in need will have access to health screenings, food, and clothes. Columbia county also offers those same services to all students; they have centers set up at each high school. If your child is in elementary or middle school you can talk with the school counselors or social workers for more information.

9) If you want to keep an eye on your child's school work this year, both counties have parent portals where you can look at your child's grades and stay up to date with any school or county information.
Click here for Richmond County's parent portal.
Click here for Columbia County's parent portal.

10) On Monday, August 5th, Richmond County and Columbia County will have open houses for elementary school students. Richmond County's is from 3 to 6pm and Columbia County's is from 4:30 to 7:30.

Richmond County heads back to school on Tuesday, August 6th, and Columbia County heads back on Wednesday, August 7th.