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Theme school deadline Feb. 28

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Families may know by March if their children will be able to attend Newton County's parent-involvement theme school next school year.

Applications to the theme school are due by Feb. 28 and notifications of acceptance or rejection will be mailed by March 18 after potentially holding a lottery on March 11, according to a recommended time line posted on the Newton County School System website.

According to a list of recommendations from NCSS, the theme school is expected to serve kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2011-12 school year.

Its name will be changed to Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, as it is expected to be housed in what is currently Ficquett Elementary School, instead of Fairview, as part of the NCSS rezoning plan. Fairview is planned to be reverted back into a traditional elementary school, and most of Ficquett's current population is expected to transfer to the new elementary school being built on Airport Road in north Newton County.

About 600 students are enrolled in the theme school in kindergarten through fifth grades. NCSS is proposing that 835 kids be enrolled at the theme school next year, averaging between 100 and 150 students per grade level.

Continuation agreements are available for parents of current students to sign and return to teachers by Feb. 28. To remain at the school, students in grades one through six must meet standards by earning a 2 or 3, an 80 or an S or P in all areas. Additionally, students must not have poor discipline or attendance records.

New families are asked to apply to the theme school from Feb. 1 through 28. Applications, which are available at www.newtoncountyschools.org and at the school, must include a proof of Newton County residence and students' report cards and CRCT scores.

Theme school parents agree to volunteer or participate at a minimum of 20 hours per year and provide transportation for students by bringing them to the school or at one of four drop-off points in the county.

The Newton County Board of Education is expected to meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 for a combined work session and monthly meeting to discuss a rezoning plan and other school matters. The meeting will be held in the board room at the Newton County BOE building, which is located at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.