Students can apply to liberal arts academy this month

COVINGTON -- The application window is open for students interested in attending the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School.

Rising high school freshmen students who wish to be part of the Class of 2017 have until Feb. 28 to apply.

Students must complete the application, include two teacher recommendations and undergo an academic and behavior review and a student/parent interview. After all paperwork has been received, students who qualified will be asked to attend the student/parent interview.

Students must meet ALANHS minimum requirements in order to have his/her application reviewed for admission. They include having an 85 core grade point average, a clear behavior record, willingness to complete community service, strong motivation and a desire to learn.

The school will accept 60 students this year. The official class list will be posted on May 15.

"The Academy has grown and developed since its start in 2009," said Kia James, program coordinator.

When it began, 60 students were in the program, and now almost 125 students are in it.

The four-year program is a school within a school that enrolls students in advanced courses and academic electives. Students also complete a portfolio and participate in community service activities.

It is open to all Newton County students; students outside of the Newton High School zone must provide their own transportation.

Students must maintain an average of 85 or above in their core academic classes to remain in the program.

"ALANHS students understand it is not easy, but they wish to become doctors, engineers (and) writers, and it's that drive that motivates them to continue and overcome," James said.

She said students in the program have enjoyed many successes -- they have been accepted to the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Mercer University and the U.S. Air Force Academy, among others.

"The students have developed a tight-knit community. They motivate and encourage each other to continually strive to improve and learn," she said. "Because ALANHS students are unique and each possesses a number of gifts, they are able to help each other."

Students have traveled to a conference on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, as well as several workshops at Georgia Tech. They also have visited colleges and traveled to China and Italy over the summer.

"ALANHS has a wonderful partnership with Oxford College. They assist with SAT/ACT preparation workshops, student mentors and service opportunities," James said. "ALANHS and Oxford students meet monthly to participate in college readiness workshops, focused forums or group discussions at either the Oxford College campus or Newton High School."

In order to ensure communication, ALANHS also has developed a Student Council with each grade having elected a representative.

"The officers developed a mentoring system to channel ideas, promote student achievements within the classes and encourage future success," James said.

The application and more information about the program are available at alanhs.org.