After School Academic Program: Registration for lessons opens today

COVINGTON - Parents of students at several Newton County elementary schools and the theme schools have the opportunity this week to register for the Newton County School System's After School Academic Program.

From 5 to 7 p.m. today and Wednesday, parents and guardians of students at Porterdale, Live Oak, West Newton, Rocky Plains and Middle Ridge elementary schools and Fairview and Clements theme schools can register their students for the After School Academic Program, which was piloted last year at Porterdale, Fairview and West Newton elementary schools.

They must bring a registration form, a $10 non-refundable registration fee and the first week's tuition of $40 per child to the first floor conference room at the Newton County Board of Education offices, which are located at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington. Forms are available at the time of registration or available for download in advance from the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org.

Tuition for the program, which is not financially supplemented by NCSS, covers a healthy snack and materials and supplies for students in the program.

"It's an enrichment program - that's academic enrichment and health and fitness and cultural enrichment, too," said Deena Sams, ASAP coordinator. "We'll give them a healthy snack. They do homework everyday, and they also do math and reading enrichment. Other enrichment activities vary according to the resources that are available to us at each site."

She said this may include lessons on foreign languages, aerobics, cooking, dance and other activities. Sams also said she hopes the students will be able to take at least one field trip this summer.

Tuition also covers salaries for teachers, which are generally school staff. Each location also is managed by a certified teacher employed at the school. Newton County high school students, as well as students at Oxford College, also may volunteer at some sites.

Service will be provided daily until 6 p.m. for elementary students and until 6:30 p.m. for the Clements Theme School students.

Parents who sign up their children for the services are expected to pay the $40 weekly tuition by the Friday prior to the upcoming week. Unless a parent withdraws their children from the program, they are expected to pay each week.

Because the program is self supported, there is no enrollment cap, but school officials like to keep the numbers at an 18-1 student-teacher ratio. Students of any age at the available schools may enroll, and there is no income or other eligibility requirements for the program.

In addition to the seven NCSS sites for the after school program, Sams expects NCSS to partner with the Covington YMCA to provide after school programs at Heard-Mixon and Ficquett elementary schools. YMCA will manage the programs, but they will be structured the same as the other NCSS programs. Interested parents should contact the YMCA for registration.

No other elementary school sites are offering an after school program this year.

"It was principal's choice," Sams said, adding that it may be because parent interest was low.

She said more programs may show up next year at other school sites, depending on parent interest.

More information about the NCSS after school program is available by calling Sams at 770-787-1330, ext. 1271.

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

SideBar: If you go

· What: 2009-10 After School Academic Program Registration

· When: 5-7 p.m. today and Wednesday

· Where: Newton County Board of Education, 2109 Newton Dr. NE, Covington

· More Information: www.newtoncountyschools.org and 770-787-1330, ext. 1271