SCHOOL

The Covington News - - Local news -

which has met sev­eral times over a five-month pe­riod to pre­pare gen­eral rec­om­men­da­tions for the board.

The com­mit­tee rec­om­mended that a theme school in New­ton County do sev­eral things, in­clud­ing of­fer aca­demic en­hance­ments be­yond the cur­rent cur­ricu­lum, raise stan­dards of aca­demic suc­cess and parental in­volve­ment, serve as many stu­dents as pos­si­ble and open as soon as pos­si­ble, pos­si­bly in the new “Kirk­land Road” ele­men­tary school.

The com­mit­tee detailed what they would like to see hap­pen in each cat­e­gory.

Pos­si­ble en­hance­ments for aca­demics may in­clude Span­ish or Latin, en­hanced tech­nol­ogy, more rig­or­ous math and sci­ence and vis­ual and per­form­ing arts.

Stu­dents would be ex­pected to abide by con­tract stip­u­la­tions with con­se­quences if they do not. The hope is that the mag­net pro­gram would “cre­ate a school com­mu­nity with mu­tual re­spect for all.”

An­other hope for the theme school is in­creased parental in­volve­ment, in­clud­ing a con­tract signed by par­ents that would re­quire them to vol­un­teer a cer­tain num­ber of hours per se­mes­ter or year in a va­ri­ety of ways. Stu­dent vol­un­teer hours are also a con­sid­er­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to his memo to the board, What­ley said he be­lieves “in pro­vid­ing choice other than that which is re­quired to be granted in lim­ited sit­u­a­tions un­der No Child Left Be­hind, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­viewed the re­port of the com­mit­tee and con­sid­ered pos­si­ble op­tions.”

At this point the theme school(s) would be opened in the fall of 2009 fo­cus­ing on par­ent in­volve­ment as the theme.

Specifics are still be­ing ironed out at this time as to where the pro­gram would be held, the ad­di­tional costs, if any, parental in­ter­est, trans­porta­tion is­sues and stu­dent se­lec­tion pro­ce­dures, among many other con­sid­er­a­tions.

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