NCSS approves 430 student transfers

COVINGTON - At least 430 students in the Newton County School System have transferred from their assigned schools to another Newton County school of their choice as a result of the federal No Child Left Behind Public School Choice program.

Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for instruction at NCSS, reported during Tuesday's monthly Board of Education work session that as of Aug. 11 the school system approved 430 choice transfers from Middle Ridge and Porterdale elementary schools and Clements Middle School, which remained on the state's Needs Improvement list this year because of Adequate Yearly Progress results. These schools were required by the state to offer school choice. Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for NCSS, said 430 students transferred and 14 opted out, or decided not to transfer, after filling out an application.

The deadline to apply for school choice was July 25, so now only students who enter the district later this school year will be given a choice to transfer from one of the three schools on the state list.

According to initial results from the state Department of Education, Clements Middle School did not meet AYP for the fifth consecutive year, causing it to keep its Needs Improvement status. Middle Ridge Elementary School also did not meet AYP for the 2007-08 school year and therefore will remain on the state list, even though it met AYP last school year. A school must meet AYP for at least two years in a row to be removed from the list. Porterdale Elementary School met AYP for this past school year but must continue to offer school choice since it did not meet it for the 2006-07 school year.

Viniard reported that 323 students transferred from Clements Middle School - 160 to Cousins and 163 to Veterans Memorial; 47 were transferred from Middle Ridge Elementary School - 23 to East Newton and 24 to Heard-Mixon; and 60 transferred from Porterdale Elementary School - 42 to Livingston and 18 to Ficquett.

Middle Ridge Elementary and Clements Middle schools will hold an information meeting Saturday, Sept. 27, at Middle Ridge Elementary to discuss state-required and federally-funded Supplemental Educational Services, according to a press release from NCSS. Middle Ridge parents can attend a parent informational meeting at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27. From 10:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., those parents can visit a Supplemental Educational Services providers fair. Clements Middle parents can attend a parent informational meeting at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27, and attend a providers fair from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m.