Morgan McCall isn’t the type of kid to mourn the end of summer vacation when the calendar turns to August. She’s looking forward to starting her fifth-grade year at Brookwood Elementary School.

“When I’m at home, I sort of get bored,” McCall said. “I like to come to school to be with my friends.”

McCall has been at Brookwood since third grade, but a change of address required her mother, Charese Pruitt, to report new documents to the school on Thursday.

The Brookwood fifth-grader who loves math and writing met her new principal, Karen Lillard, for the first time Thursday when her mother was filing some documents with the school during open registration. Lillard was front-and-center, greeting students and parents who were new to the school. Most had moved into the attendance zone this year.

“I think the opening of a school year is such an exciting time for everyone and a wonderful opportunity to restart,” Lillard said. “I’m super excited to do that at Brookwood Elementary.”

Lillard, after all, is also new. She’s wrapping up her first full month of being the principal of Brookwood Elementary School after spending six years as the principal of Beaver Ridge Elementary School.

Her first full month included leadership training for teachers and three days of kindergarten camp, which wrapped up last week.

“It’s exciting to be able to get to know our community and our families and our new staff,” Lillard said. “We’ve had some wonderful professional learning for our teachers in preparing and getting ready for the school year. I’m meeting with our shared leadership team, so just some great professional learning for our staff. I’ve had the opportunity to meet parents, PTA members and even some students.”

Kindergarten registration was held before the end of the 2018-19 school year, but there’s still a full week for parents to register students moving to different schools. Parents and guardians are encouraged to complete the initial steps of registration online. Parents and guardians can use “School Look-up” online at http://bit.ly/GCPSSchoolLocator to find which school a student is zoned for. Parents and guardians will need to visit their local school to complete registration to turn in the following documents:

♦ An official document showing proof of birth date;

♦ Proof that you live in the attendance zone;

♦ A valid Georgia certificate of immunization (GA Form No. 3231);

♦ Evidence of Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Screening (GA Form No. 3300-Rev. 2013);

♦ A photo ID for the adult registering the child;

♦ Proof of authorized person to enroll; and

♦ Child’s social security number (or you may sign a waiver at the school).

All schools held open registration Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 25. Some schools, such as Brookwood, are still open this Tuesday and Thursday.

“If anyone needs support with the online system, they can always go to the local school, and we have computers available,” Lillard said. “It is encouraged for time’s sake to get a lot of it finished online first.”

Parents and guardians have also been asked to contact their child’s school for questions about meal plans and bus routes prior to the start of the school year. Students will be meeting their teachers and attending open houses in the coming week, where transportation and cafeteria staff are available to answer questions or quell concerns about transportation or lunch.

The first day of school for GCPS schools is Aug. 5.

McCall took some of Lillard’s words to heart when she explained that the members of the fifth-grade class act as leaders for the younger students.

“It means I have to help the little kids know what to do when they get older,” McCall said.

Taylor Denman is a reporter born and raised in Gwinnett County. He came back home to seize the rare opportunity of telling stories about the county in which he grew up.