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NCSS plans early release this week

COVINGTON - All Newton County public schools will release students early Thursday and Friday for elementary and middle school parent conferences and high school professional learning activities.

Elementary students will leave at 12:15 p.m., while middle and high school students are scheduled to depart at 1:15 p.m. Fairview Theme School will dismiss students at 12:45 p.m., and Clements Theme School students will leave at 1 p.m.

Schools will serve lunch before students are dismissed, and all students who ride school buses home in the afternoons will be transported to their normal bus stops.

The Newton County School System recommends that all parents of elementary and middle school children schedule a parent-teacher conference to discuss the academic progress of their child/children before report cards are issued in October.

"Parent involvement is a key component to student success," said Newton County School Superintendent Steve Whatley. "I encourage parents not only to schedule a parent-teacher conference but also to play an active role in their student's education by communicating with teachers throughout the school year, attending PTO meetings and, most importantly, monitoring student homework and study habits at home."

More information about scheduling a parent/teacher conference is available by contacting the child's teacher or principal.

Parents can also keep track of their students through the new student portal, Infinite Campus, which is now accessible through the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org. The portal is available 24 hours a day for parents to log on to and view grades, discipline and attendance information for their students.

The new parent-involvement campaign that the school system recently kicked off is Be There, which encourages parents to "be there" for their students.

"Just taking the time to talk to your child or involve him or her in everyday activities, like driving in the car, going to the bank, or fixing dinner, can make a difference with a child," Whatley said.