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Community asked to take survey on naming new school

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Community members still have time to weigh in on their preferred name for Newton County's 14th elementary school.

"Naming a school is a responsibility we take very seriously," said Dr. Gary Mathews, superintendent of Newton County Schools. "The name we select for the new school will be part of the permanent history of our school system and our county. As a result, the school board feels the community should have a role in selecting the name."

Residents have until 5 p.m. March 4 to complete a survey on the Newton County School System's Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org, to provide their input. Those interested can click on a link on the main page of the site and proceed to a form that asks for the name suggestion -- which must not be the name of an individual -- and the reasoning behind the suggestion -- such as geographic locations, historical sites or landmarks.

The new elementary school is scheduled to open in time for the 2011-12 school year on Airport Road near Ga. Highway 142. It's student body will be comprised of Palmer Stone Elementary School's entire student population, as well as some students from some other elementary schools in the county who are being rezoned.

In December, the school board, which included three members who no longer are on the board, voted not to transfer the name Palmer Stone Elementary School to the new school, as previously discussed, and to let the new board decide on a name.

According to board policy, the board is responsible for naming new facilities of the district. Consideration for naming a school facility after an individual, living or deceased, may be given if land was donated by the individual or the individual's family and the land was accepted by the board for the purpose of constructing a school facility or if an individual or individual's family donates the money to purchase land or construct a school facility and the money was accepted by the board for that purpose.

Most recently, schools have been named Live Oak, South Salem and Liberty.

The school board is expected to make a decision on the naming of the new school at its March meeting.

Its work session is scheduled for March 8, when the board members are expected to discuss the suggested names for the new school and narrow the list of choices to no more than six names. The board will vote on a name during its regular session meeting set for March 15.

Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the board room at the Newton County BOE building at 2109 Newton Drive NE in Covington.