Posted: Monday, March 11th 2013 at 7:08pm
Hall County schools will accept tuition students
By B.J. Williams Editor
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield recommended, and the school board unanimously approved, a measure allowing tuition-paying students to apply for admission to four specialized high school programs in the Hall County district.
Under the recommendation given approval Monday afternoon, upcoming 9th, 10th or 11th grade students would be allowed to apply for open seats at any of the district's three high school International Baccalaureate, or IB, programs at Johnson, North Hall and West Hall High Schools. Also included in the plan is the new STEM (science, technology, engineering and match) designation program at North Hall High School.
Schofield said about 20 open seats will be available in each of the four programs.
"The empty seats will always go to Hall County School District students first, and then, and only then, will we consider opening them to out-of-district students," said Schofield.
Hall County students will have until April 15 to make application and after that date, any remaining seats will be open to other students.
Any students attending from outside of the Hall County School District will be charged a tuition fee of $1,200 per year to be paid in two installments.
Schofield noted that this is the first tuition option for out-of-district students the school board has considered in at least 20 years.
"I think what we need to look at in education is to quit worrying about 'us' and 'theirs,' 'mine' and yours,'" said Schofield. "[We should be] asking ourselves the question 'what are the opportunities we have to give children and their families different opportunities for education?'"
STEM Academy approved as 22nd program of choice
Also Monday, Hall County School Board members gave unanimous approval to the STEM Academy program of study at North Hall High School.
Schofield said while classes will begin this fall, the State Department of Education must grant approval for the designation, and that process will take three years.
"Students who go through this rigorous science/technology/engineering/mathematics curriculum can get that STEM designation, which really helps with college admission [and] work force readiness," said Schofield.
Officials from North Hall High School presented an outline of plans for the new magnet academy to board members at their Monday work session.
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