NCSS will hold extra meeting about theme schools

COVINGTON - Parents who are interested in their students attending Newton County's new parent involvement theme schools but missed the original deadline to apply have another chance.

Officials at the Newton County School System extended the deadline to apply to the elementary and middle schools to Feb. 20 and will hold another informational meeting for parents and students at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Newton County High School's Porter Auditorium, located at 140 Ram Drive in Covington.

"There are still open seats for both the elementary and middle theme schools," said Adria Griffin, director of Middle School Curriculum at NCSS, in an e-mail.

The Newton County Board of Education approved the development of an elementary-level parent involvement theme school at the Fairview Elementary School site and a middle school level one at the Clements Middle School site in December. The board held several informational meetings throughout January, and parents originally had until Feb. 6 to complete an application. The theme schools will require parents to participate in a certain number of activities and require that students meet a certain set of standards, all of which are not finalized yet.

As of Monday afternoon, Griffin could not say how many applications were submitted to NCSS for either school or how many slots were filled.

"Tabulations are not ready at this point," she said.

She did say that NCSS did not receive enough applications in the elementary "super zone," consisting of Ficquett, Palmer Stone, Fairview and West Newton elementary schools, so it was decided to allow more applications from each of the other elementary schools - East Newton, Heard-Mixon, Livingston, Mansfield, Middle Ridge, Oak Hill, Porterdale, Rocky Plains and South Salem.

In December, NCSS officials said they need a minimum of 450 students at the elementary theme school and 624 at the middle theme school to receive full state funding for the schools.

At the meeting, NCSS officials will present information about the two theme schools and review the application and enrollment process; they also will hold a question and answer session at the end of the meeting.

Griffin said parents who wish to apply for their children to attend a theme school can fill out an application at the meeting or wait until the Feb. 20 deadline; parents who fill out the application at the meeting also need to present proof of residency that night.

She said NCSS will notify parents by March through the mail if their student received a slot at one of the theme schools.

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

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Theme School Informational Meeting

· When: 6:30 p.m. today

· Where: Porter Auditorium at Newton High School, 140 Ram Drive, Covington

· More Information: www.newtoncountyschools.org