COVINGTON -- More students are enjoying the Newton College & Career Academy this year.
After opening in a wing of Alcovy High School last school year and then in its permanent building in April, this will be the first full school year for the Academy in its new building.
This semester, more than 600 students are attending the school, which is located on Ram Drive adjacent to Newton High School. This includes about 225 students from Alcovy High School, about 140 students from Eastside High and about 265 from Newton High; about 175 students are 10th-graders, about 250 are 11th-graders and about 200 are 12th-graders.
Last year, about 250 students attended the school. In the future, about 800 students are expected to fill the school.
With more students this year, comes more academic opportunities for them.
"When we looked at our enrollment numbers in early June, we realized that we needed to add an additional career pathway program to accommodate the additional students," said school counselor Rita Bucovaz. "Since we heard from many students during our spring registration process that they were interested in pursuing careers that work with animals, we added Animal & Equine Science. The response to the addition of this program has been overwhelming with over 60 students applying to be in these classes."
She said the school's most popular pathway is Healthcare Science, with nearly all 12 classes offered are at full capacity. Other popular pathways are Culinary Arts, Business and Marketing, Early Childhood Education and Video Broadcasting, she said.
"We have received so much positive comments from parents, students and community members on our facilities, students and programs at NCCA," Bucovas said. "We are averaging at least two outside tours a week for groups that want to see our facilities."
Students at the school also can study construction, engineering, graphic design, cosmetology and public safety, among others. Base elective programs are offered at the three Newton County high schools that will feed into the more advanced programs at NCCA for mostly juniors and seniors.
"The students, or as we refer to them at NCCA, the associates, are now settled into their academic schedules and have adjusted very quickly to their new environment, as has our teachers, or trainers, and staff," Bucovaz said.
The school was developed using $3.05 million in state grant funds awarded as part of the state Georgia Career Academy Project. The program also used an $8,000 charter planning grant, $14,500 in Ford PAS Next Generation Learning grants, a $1,345,000 equipment grant and a $30,000 Remote Automation Management Project grant for equipment and software.
More information about attending the school is available by visiting www.newtoncareeracademy.org or talking to high school counselors.