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School starts Thursday
Officials urge safety as buses return
4 School starts pic1
Second-grade teacher Tiffany Turner prepares the first day of class at Robinson Elementary by putting up a calendar on the bulletin board. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

Georgia sales tax holiday

• What: Certain clothing, computers and school supplies have no sales tax.

• When: Friday and Saturday

• Clothing exclusions: Certain items such as jewelry, handbags, umbrellas, baby accessories and cosmetics remain taxable. Clothing, including footwear, must be $100 or less per item. Items costing more than $100 will be taxed.

• Electronics exclusions: Single purchases of $1,000 or less on personal computers and personal computer-related accessories are acceptable. Anything above $1,000 or unrelated to personal computers will be taxed.

• School supply exclusions: General school supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item will be tax-exempt. Envelopes, janitorial and medical supplies, trade/business items, briefcases and most books will be taxed.

• For more information: Visit


With the start of the 2013-14 school year on Thursday, motorists are encouraged to be mindful of buses and increased traffic.

"Please be careful," said Dawson County Sheriff's Maj. Tony Wooten. "... There will most definitely be additional traffic on the roads and at the schools."

Bus drivers will begin their routes as early as 5:30 a.m. to arrive at the elementary schools, where classes begin at 7:45 a.m. Middle school classes begin at 7:30 a.m. and high school at 7:40 a.m.

"Leave earlier to make sure you have enough time," Wooten said. "Especially the first few days of school, we always see more parents taking their children to school."

Teachers, who have been preparing for students the last few weeks, are excited about Thursday.

"I can't wait to see my students again. I'll have a lot of the same ones as last year, so I can't wait to see their smiling faces on the first day," said Lauren Stephenson, a special education instructor at Riverview Elementary.

Cameron Smith, a rising third-grader at Robinson Elementary, is equally excited.

"I can't wait to figure out who my teacher is and see all of my friends," the 9-year-old said.

Local mother Christa Johnson is not nearly ready to see the summer come to an end.

"I think it's too early," she said. "I know when I was young we didn't start till closer to Labor Day."

Julie Jordan agreed. She thought the summer felt short due to all the rain.

To reward the children before they return to school, the Jordan family spent last weekend in the sun.

This weekend, however, they plan to take advantage of the state's sales tax holiday while shopping for school clothes and supplies.

"They're not going to need too much for two days," Jordan said.

Georgia's sales tax holiday is Friday and Saturday. General school supplies, clothing and personal computers are exempt from sales tax, though there are provisions.


Staff writers David Renner and Amanda Head contributed to this story.