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Meetings planned for block scheduling, arts academy

COVINGTON - Parents of Newton High School students are invited to one of two meetings in the coming weeks regarding changes at the school.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday and April 13, Newton High School will hold informational parent meetings in the school auditorium to discuss block scheduling and the new Academy of Liberal Arts. Alcovy High School already has held an informational meeting regarding block scheduling.

Earlier this year, the Newton County Board of Education approved block scheduling at each Newton County high school and an Academy of Liberal Arts, which is a partnership between Oxford College that provides advanced training to teachers and students in Newton County.

NHS Principal Roderick Sams said from 6:30 to 7 p.m., school staff members will discuss with parents block scheduling and answer some questions.

Sams said after the allotted time period, if parents still have questions about block scheduling, a school administrator will meet with them in another location.

The Newton County School System announced that it will phase in graduation requirements to allow time for students to transition. The senior class of 2009-10 school year will be required to earn 23 credits to graduate and 25 credits to graduate with distinction out of a possible 26 credits. The senior class of 2010-11 must accumulate 25 credits to graduate and 27 to graduate with distinction out of a possible 28; the senior class of 2011-12 must have 27 credits to graduate and 29 to graduate with distinction out of 30; and the senior class of 2012-13 and thereafter must earn 28 credits to graduate and 30 to graduate with distinction out of 32 possible credits.

Alcovy and Newton High School and Sharp Learning Center teachers will receive training this school year during student holidays and on school-day breaks and observe classes at Eastside High School, which already practices block scheduling.

Also at the parent meeting, school staff members will give a presentation about the Academy of Liberal Arts starting at 7 p.m. After the presentation, they will take questions until at least 8 p.m., but Sams said the meeting could last longer, depending on how many questions parents have.

The program is in its beginning stages, but Sams said he will know more specifics about the program after the meeting and sees how many families show interest in it.

More information about the meetings are available by calling the school at 770-787-2250.

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