GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- It's that time of year again! School is about to begin, so you need to know the basics before your kid walks into the classroom.

There are a couple of changes at Guilford County Schools to note, and also just some information you might need to brush up on. It's okay, we all have summer brain!

The open house schedule for Guilford County Schools is as follows:

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Courtesty: Guilford County Schools

School Safety:

This is the first year all Guilford County Schools will be using a buzzer system for security purposes according to GCS Chief Operations Officer Scott McCully.

"For this year, as promised, every school will have a door buzzer so all front doors will be locked after the opening bell and any visitor will have to go through what we call a door buzzer," McCully said. "So they’ll simply ring the door buzzer and the front office person can visually see who is at that front door and through a mechanical opening be able to let that individual in."

McCully said GCS had promised the community and board the new security systems would be installed by the end of the summer after several nationwide school shootings in recent history, and they were able to fulfill that promise.

Parents and students WFMY News 2 spoke with are happy with the new safety initiative.

One student said "school is going to be a lot safer and that's like, peace of mind."

Vaccinations:

Immunization laws now require that kindergartners receive a booster dose of Polio vaccine after their fourth birthday and two doses of Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine prior to the start of the school year.

Seventh-graders must also receive a booster dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and a first dose of Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV) by the beginning of the school year.

State law requires all students who enter seventh grade each fall to show proof of receiving the Tdap vaccine within 30 calendar days of the start of school (or enrollment) if five or more years have passed since their last dose. Last year, four percent of 4,934 seventh-graders were without a Tdap or MCV shot on the day of exclusion. That's close to 200 students. Students attending schools that observe the traditional calendar must provide documentation by Sept. 25, or be excluded from school on Sept. 26.

Any student entering North Carolina public schools for the first time must also provide documentation of a completed health assessment transmittal form. This includes transfer students from North Carolina private schools.

Vaccines can be administered by the student’s healthcare provider or at the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services – Public Health Division. Appointments are available for all children from 8:15 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday in the general immunization clinics.

Changes to School Nutrition

Your child may have gotten free breakfast and lunch last year, but that doesn't guarantee they will this year.

Starting this school year, students at all Guilford County Schools will need to apply if they wish to receive free or reduced price meals. Guilford County Schools is no longer participating in the federal program that certified all students in an entire school as eligible for free breakfast and lunch. But, students who attend former Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools, there are 58 of them, will continue to receive free meals for the first 30 days of school.

Parents and caregivers must complete a free and reduced price meal application to qualify their children for meal benefits. These forms are available on their website & app, and will also be passed out during open houses.