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As part of the Welcome Back to Campus for fall semester Thursday, Aug. 9, Southwestern Community College recognized employees and their contributions to state service.

SCC President Don Tomas presented service pins and awards to those recognized.

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After years of planning and a gamut of financial and developmental obstacles, the new state-of-the-art Iotla Valley Elementary School is nearly finished. The multi-million dollar facility is just days from opening for hundreds of students.

Iotla Elementary’s completion wa a collective effort on the local government’s part in recent years to upgrade the county’s school system, while consolidating other longstanding schools. With the new school year beginning next week, the facility’s completion is right on time, and closes another phase in the county’s academic agenda.

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With tax-free weekend kicking off on Friday, parents will be given the perfect opportunity to do some shopping for a new wardrobe for Macon County students. When school starts on Aug. 9, students at Franklin High School will be closely monitored to ensure they are in compliance with a new set of rules for the school's dress code.

According to Franklin High School Principal Chris Baldwin, the changes will ensure an overall better learning environment for all students. “These changes were necessary for three reasons,” said Baldwin. “First, the faculty, staff, students, and parents of Franklin High School expect our students to have the opportunity to learn in a safe and healthy environment. There is research to support the fact that school dress codes have a positive impact on the learning environment. We also expect our students to exhibit good taste and wholesome behavior befitting of the Franklin community. Finally, student styles of dress are constantly changing and updates to our dress code are necessary on a regular basis.”

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New law will give school districts more options.

After North Carolina Governor Bev. Perdue signed a new calendar law earlier this month, Macon County School System's annual calendar has once again become a topic of discussion.

The new bill, which was approved in the last legislative session that concluded earlier this month, will change the state's calendar law beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. The new law will no longer allow Macon County and other districts to start early to avoid winter weather that often delays the exam schedule that occurs before the winter break. The bill directs all school districts with a regular calendar to begin on the Monday closest to August 26 and districts that receive a weather waiver must start on the Monday closest to August 19.

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