Monday July 22nd, 2024 12:20PM

Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School to open for 2024-2025 school year

By Lawson Smith/ Video by Seth Chapman

Hall County School System’s newest building is complete and will open to students for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School combines White Sulphur and Riverbend elementary schools, which officially closed at the end of the 2023-2024 school year in May. 

SDDES Principal Keri Smith recently gave AccessWDUN a look at some of the building’s features that students, teachers, and parents alike can look forward to in the fall. 

The two story building features a variety of resources for students, including a museum room to showcase their school work to peers, a media center with a space for students to learn audio/ visual skills, and a kitchen for culinary classes. 

“I'm very excited about our connections classes,” Smith told AccessWDUN. “One that we'll be adding this year that I'm particularly excited about is our culinary lab. This is a lab that will feed into what students will be able to do in middle school at East Hall Middle, North Hall Middle, and even at the high school level for culinary arts.”

The school also has two elevators, as well as a hallway learning space, complete with seating built into the building’s staircase to provide classes with the opportunity to learn in an adaptive way. 

Students will also be able to enjoy in physical activity through the building’s gymnasium equipped with technological enhancements and a performance stage.

Deal Elementary will also boast the district’s second inclusive playground, provided through Hope For Hall. 

Principal Smith highlighted apart from the building’s physical features, the school will also offer to its students two programs of choice to encourage them to thrive academically. Combining programs from SDDES’ parent schools, Deal Elementary will have both a Dual Immersion Program teaching Spanish as well as an Advanced Scholars Academy. 

The school  will also pay tribute to its name sake, former Firsrt Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, by encouraging its students to carry a love for reading. 

“Sandra had a heart for literacy,” Smith recalled. “And, we know that about her as our first lady of Georgia. We know that one of her things that she did around the state was  she read to students in every school district around Georgia. And so, it is an honor to be the principal of a school that is named after her…she was a teacher at heart. And that's what we do each day with students. I'm excited that we're going to be able to offer a space for students to learn and grow and hopefully, fall in love with literacy.’ 

Sandra Dunagan Deal Elementary School will officially open for the upcoming school year when all Hall County Schools begin classes on August 4, 2024. 

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