Oak Hill could get after-school program

COVINGTON -- Although the Newton County School System recently told parents of Oak Hill Elementary School students that the school would not have an After-School Academic Program this year, there is still a possibility of that happening.

In December, NCSS officials announced that an ASAP would not be set up at the school after a survey was sent home to parents in November.

The survey showed that 56 parents said they would use the program, while 122 said they would not use the program because it either cost too much, the hours were not convenient or they didn't need after-school care, among other reasons.

Oak Hill parent Karen Citizen-Wilcox is not happy with the decision by the school and school system not to house an after-school program at the school.

She said the more kids are in school, instead of at home alone, that they are better off, adding that the program is designed to help students with math and reading skills.

"They are doing a lot in the other (school programs)," she said.

She told the Newton County Board of Education during its monthly work session Tuesday that she doesn't understand why some schools operate with much lower attendance in their ASAP programs than what could have been at Oak Hill.

"I don't buy that there aren't enough people interested," she said. "I think you would be surprised."

In December, NCSS reported that 542 students were enrolled in the ASAP program at 10 schools. This includes 79 at Fairview Elementary, 78 at Porterdale Elementary, 63 at Live Oak Elementary, 57 at Rocky Plains, 57 at Liberty Middle, 50 at Middle Ridge, 42 at Ficquett Elementary, 32 at West Newton Elementary, 30 at Clements Theme and 14 at Challenge Charter Academy, which is funded through a special grant.

Oak Hill Principal Brenda Gammans said Thursday that the school has surveyed parents two years in a row and received very few parental responses.

"(The decision) was just based on the survey," Gammans said.

NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley said the possibility of an ASAP program at Oak Hill or another school still could be expected.

"We are looking very carefully at the possibility of starting one other (after school) program (at one other school)," he said at Tuesday's meeting.