Newton schools get federal grant

COVINGTON - The Newton County School System is using federal grant money it received to expand its Advanced Placement program in the county's three high schools.

The system received $4,000 in federal funds from the Georgia Department of Education's Advanced Placement Teacher Training Grant.

Fifteen Newton County teachers will attend a weeklong AP Summer Institute in June at the University of Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.

"They will receive intensive training about what the College Board requires in AP courses," said Kathy Reese, director of high school curriculum for the Newton County School System.

The teachers from Alcovy High School attending the institute classes are Dolores Williams, statistics; Jennifer Camba, chemistry; Angela Cooper, environmental science; Scott Rains, calculus; Melinda Morrow, U. S. government and politics; and Cristi Johnson, art studio design.

Teachers from Eastside High School include Gretchen Smith, statistics; Michelle Kennedy, biology; Carla Ricketson, English literature and composition; and Stevi Jones, European history.

And Newton High School teachers selected are John Ellenberg and Lisa Oswald, biology; Jamie Summerour, chemistry; Nilesh Patel, physics; and Coleen Amman, Spanish.

Interested teachers had to apply for the limited slots the school system had available, Reese said.

"We had some other teachers who were interested in attending (the summer institutes), and they couldn't, but that's not to say they can't in the future," she said.

Reese said the school system currently offers a total of 14 AP courses split between each of the county's three high schools, but school officials want to offer more AP classes to interested students.

"It's a great opportunity," she said about the AP courses. "The classes are very challenging, and we encourage parents to encourage their students to accept that challenge. If they want to do good in college, they need the rigor now of college-level classes."

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