MOULTRIE — Colquitt County Schools and the State of Georgia are both gearing up for the beginning of school with a series of events planned for this week and next.

Classes begin in Colquitt County Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The events start Thursday, Aug. 2, with the state sales tax holiday, which runs through Sunday, Aug. 5. State sales tax will not be collected on articles of clothing, personal computers and general school supplies, with certain exceptions. Local sales taxes will still be collected.

See the Department of Revenue Web site at for details, including a list of tax-exempt merchandise.

On Thursday, Sunday and Monday, local schools will hold open house events to let parents meet their children’s teachers. Different grades will hold their open houses at different days and times; see below for a schedule.

Because the ninth grade open house always draws a big crowd, two sessions will be held, according to Colquitt County High School counselor Ben Wiggins. Nearly all ninth graders come and bring at least one parent, he said, and all the ninth grade academic classes are in one building. That would put about 2,000 people into the building at one time if only one session is held, he said. Wiggins said officials hope 30 to 40 percent of the ninth graders and their parents will come to the early session so that teachers can give them more personal attention.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, the school system will sponsor a Back-to-School Expo from 9 a.m. to noon on the Courthouse Square. If it rains, the event will be moved to the following Saturday.

The expo will include participants from each school in the system as well as the school superintendent and representatives of the Board of Eduation, the athletics department, choir, curriculum, federal programs, human resources, ROTC, school nutrition services, technology and transportation. Community representatives will be there from a variety of agencies, such as ABAC, the American Red Cross, Babies Can’t Wait, the Boy Scouts, governmental agencies, local businesses and many more.

Students will be able to pick up free books and school supplies, get a free hair cut and even get a free dental screening. Students and parents can learn about testing, promotion retention, Internet safety, free and reduced lunch eligibility, bus safety, bus routes, drug awareness and immunization records and information.

Free health screenings and information will be available, as will information about employment opportunities.

Door prizes will be given away.

2007-2008 School Open House Schedule

Grades PreK-5 ... Thursday, Aug. 2 ... 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Grades 10-12 ... Sunday, Aug. 5 ... 2-3:30 p.m.

Grades 6-8 ... Sunday, Aug. 5 ... 3-5 p.m.

Grade 9 ... Monday, Aug. 6 ... 11-1 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

Pathways PreK-12 at Vereen School ... Thursday, Aug. 2 ... 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

CCHS REACH/Night School will begin Monday, Aug. 13. Students wishing to attend night school should contact Lynn Pritchett at 890-6197 or 890-6181 before Friday, Aug. 10, to register.

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