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Peachtree Academy expands Covington campus

Hutcheson also showed off the new library to Renae Adams of Cartridge World in Conyers, left, and Rick Ingram of A Better Plumbing Service, while on the tour.

Hutcheson also showed off the new library to Renae Adams of Cartridge World in Conyers, left, and Rick Ingram of A Better Plumbing Service, while on the tour.

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This is in the classroom of Mrs. Parsons- Math Class

COVINGTON — Peachtree Academy’s Covington campus continues to grow.

This school year, the school opened a new high school addition, complete with a library, gymnasium, cafeteria, a band room and more room to expand.

“We are blessed beyond measure that we were able to expand again,” said JaNice Van Ness, chief executive officer for the school. “We promised our parents a gym, but we gave them a high school.”

The school, located at 14101 U.S. Highway 278 in Covington, has experienced 177 percent growth between its second and third year of opening.

It opened in August 2010 as the first private school in Covington accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

It served 57 students during the 2010-11 school year and now has nearly 200 students enrolled from 4-year-old pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

“There’s room for expansion — we’re not finished growing,” said Wendy Hughes, headmaster of the school.

In the spring, the school plans to finish its athletic fields. Already, the school offers sports like cross country, soccer, basketball, golf, cheerleading, tennis and equestrian.

“There’s lot of opportunities for children to be involved,” Hughes said, adding that the school also offers fine arts like violin and percussion lessons, a praise band and drama.

The school also has before- and after-school programs and summer programs. A new collaborative program also will offer courses and extracurricular opportunities for area home school families beginning in August.

Over the summer, the school plans to finish the upstairs portion of the new addition to add more classrooms to the high school program. About 65 students now are in the high school program, which serves eighth through 12th grades, and there are about 100 in fifth through seventh grades waiting to enter the program, which will serve ninth through 12th grades next year.

The school enjoys about a 98 percent re-enrollment rate. Normally, private schools retain about 80 percent, Hughes said. About 300 students are expected next school year.

The Newton County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting and tour at the school Tuesday.

“We’ve watched the growth of Peachtree Academy for years,” Chamber President Hunter Hall said.

He said the Chamber has improved efforts to recruit private schools to the area — not because there are problems with public schools but because “it provides options.”

“We’re cheerleaders in both public and private schools,” he said.

Hall added that information about school options will be provided to individuals moving to the area with Baxter, saying that good schools tie in with property values and recruitment.

The expansion includes a library with wireless computers and books. Next year, the school plans to introduce some electronic textbooks for students on tablet devices.

The school also plans to expand its main Conyers campus in the near future.

A gala to celebrate the school’s growth across its three campuses is scheduled in the new Covington addition on April 20. The fundraising event is expected to help the school build a robotics program and science labs, complete a football field and contribute to a student scholarship fund.

More information is available on the school’s website www.peachtreeacademy.com.

Comments

Billy 1 year, 6 months ago

Hopefully, this is a religious school as well, but even if it isn't, it has to be light years better than any education and environment you would have in public school. Not to say it's perfect, but everyone wants what's best for their child, and PS is the last place to hope for "best."

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dennistay53 1 year, 6 months ago

This one will continue to grow and other private schools will come in. The public schools in Newton County don't have a chance to improve with 4 of the board members they have. I wouldn't be putting much confidence in Hunter Hall though

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deathtotaxes 1 year, 6 months ago

Exactly, the BOE and BOC are the ones who are resposible for the below average level of education in this county. It seems their repetitive solution is to build new schools, pay themselves well and tax the people more! Forget test scores and prepping childen for college. If anyone thinks Baxter employees are going to move into Newton in droves because of the schools either public or private....... is dreaming. The BOE and BOC are dumbing down this community.

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bartsimpson 1 year, 6 months ago

I couldn't agree more with the consensus that private schools will flourish in Newton County. I question, however, why Hunter Hall is criticized by dennistay53. Like it or not, agree or not, since Hunter came on board with the chamber, business's have been succesfully recruited to Covington and Newton County. When is the last time our county experienced a large scale opportunity for employment? General Mills in 1989? This article is about a private Christian school succeeding in Newton County, not about your opinion of our chamber leadership. Great job Hunter and everyone affiliated with the chamber.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe companies like SKC, Nissimbo or Bard or PACTIV might take exception to your comments of no signifcant large scale size business since 1989. The first two companies are new since 1998 and Bard & PACTIV did greatly expand their warehousing operations in Newton County - primarily in the Lochridge Industrial Park & SKC is currently undergoing yet another expansion. General Mills & Bard also built new significant size facilities in neighboring counties in the last five years - why didn't they exand right here in NC?

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