NCSS plans 10 public meetings
Sessions to address issues with new theme schools

COVINGTON - Those interested in learning more about the elementary and middle parent involvement theme schools planned for Newton County will get a chance to talk to school system officials and ask questions in several upcoming meetings this month.

The Newton County School System announced late Monday that it has scheduled several public meetings at elementary and middle schools, as well as the Newton County Board of Education office, to discuss plans for the schools, which were approved by the Newton County Board of Education in December to open for the 2009-10 school year.

Those interested in attending a public session regarding the elementary theme school may attend Thursday at West Newton Elementary, Monday at the Newton County BOE, Tuesday at Fairview or Ficquett elementary schools and Jan. 15 at Palmer-Stone Elementary. Middle theme school meetings are scheduled Thursday at Clements Middle, Monday at Cousins Middle, Jan. 15 at Veterans Memorial Middle and Jan. 22 at Indian Creek Middle. Both levels will be discussed at a meeting Jan. 26 at the Newton County BOE. All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The school system presented the theme schools as an option to address a concern from the local community regarding a need for parental choice options at these grade levels, NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley said.

The theme schools are planned to be established at Fairview Elementary and Clements Middle schools and require a minimum enrollment for state funding and a maximum enrollment for space issues - space is limited to a certain number of students from each elementary and middle school. Students currently attending those schools will be rezoned to attend other schools.

Parents and students who enroll in the schools will be required to sign a contract to commit to volunteer hours, dress code, attendance, academic and behavioral requirements, among other rules.

The school board plans to approve principals for the schools this month and organize teaching staff in the coming months in order to open the schools by August.

More information about the theme schools are available on the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

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

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Elementary Theme School public meetings

· When and Where:

6:30 p.m. Thursday - West Newton Elementary

6:30 p.m. Monday - Newton County Board of Education

6:30 p.m. Tuesday- Fairview and Ficquett Elementary

6:30 p.m. Jan. 15 - Palmer-Stone Elementary

6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 - Newton County Board of Education

· What: Middle Theme School public meetings

· When and Where:

6:30 p.m. Thursday - Clements Middle

6:30 p.m. Monday - Cousins Middle

6:30 p.m. Thursday - Veterans Memorial Middle

6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 - Indian Creek Middle

6:30 p.m. Jan. 26 - Newton County Board of Education

· More Information: www.newtoncountyschools.org