COVINGTON-- The Newton County Theme School continues to grow.
The parent-involvement theme school, which is housed at what used to be Ficquett Elementary School, plans to serve an eighth-grade class for the first time next school year.
Currently, the school is made up of kindergarten through seventh grade with between 83 and 138 students per grade, or nearly 900 students total.
"We are pretty well maxed out at every grade level," said Principal Jim Meneguzzo.
The school first opened in 2009 at the Fairview Elementary School site, and then moved to its current site. Over the past couple of years, it added a sixth and seventh grade and now plans to continue with plans to grow by adding the eighth grade next school year while inviting in at least kindergarten students, too.
Eventually, the school is expected to move into the current Eastside High School facility, after a replacement high school is built within the next several years, according to the school system's facility plan.
The theme school will hold an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the school's cafeteria. Members of the school's administration and PTO are expected to be at the meeting, where they will discuss student entrance and continuance requirements, parental contracts and other aspects of the school.
The school is accepting applications for the siblings of current students until Friday. Along with an application, parents or guardians must include their photo ID, two proofs of residency and proof of custody/guardianship, if applicable, as well as the child's birth certificate; Social Security card; immunization and eye, ear and dental records; the most recent report card; a standardized test score result form; special education records; and a discipline report.
New student applications will be accepted from Feb. 4 through Feb. 15. Parents also will need to provide an application and the same personal and school documents.
A lottery will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, March 8 at the Newton County Board of Education, and students not selected will be placed on a waiting list; they will be notified by March 29.
Applications can be picked up at the school, which is located at 2207 Williams St. in Covington, or downloaded from the school's website, www.newtoncountyschools.org/ncts.
Parents of enrolled students must sign a parent involvement contract and pledge to complete 20 volunteer hours per household per year.
Students also must meet and maintain certain academic and behavioral requirements.
For students entering first grade, progress must have been demonstrated on all Georgia Performance Standards. For students entering in second through fourth grades, standards must have been met on a report card by achieving a 2, 3 or 4 or an S or P in all academic areas. For students entering fifth through eighth grades, they must have earned an 80 or higher semester average in all subjects or an S or P.
There are no academic entrance requirements for students being accepted into kindergarten.
To be admitted, students must have passed the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests in reading, English language arts and math, and they must have no out-of-school suspensions and no more than two detention or in-school suspension referrals.