Sharp Learning Center closes nursery

COVINGTON - Instead of babies and toys, the child care facility at Sharp Learning Center will soon house computers and desks.

Sharp closed its nursery in November after months of low usage.

"It has very inconsistent use; it's been periodic," said Adria Griffin, middle school curriculum director for the Newton County School System. "As far as this school year, we had one child in there every once in a while when the mother would show up to school, which wasn't very often."

The nursery first opened when the Learning Center was established "to meet student needs," but Griffin said the environment of Sharp has changed over the past several years.

"When Sharp originally opened, it was used as an alternative school for students who weren't succeeding in the traditional school environment or girls who became mothers," Griffin said. "Now, it's more of a placement of students who were removed from school for behavior."

Griffin said the paraprofessional who was in charge of the nursery was reassigned to another department after the nursery closed.

Also, disposal of such surplus items as cribs, toys and other nursery material was approved at the Newton County Board of Education meeting last week.

In place of the nursery, the school plans to open a computer lab.

"We thought the resource would be better used as a computer lab for middle school students," Griffin said. "Our high school students have their own computer lab. ... The high schoolers are using it most every minute for credit recovery (of failed classes)."

She said middle school students will use the computers for remediation work and projects.

"Our goal is to put at least 20 computers in there," she said. "Right now, we are working on getting all of the computer and electrical wiring in there."

The school probably will not complete the necessary work to open the lab during this school year, but Griffin said it definitely would be open by the beginning of next school year.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.