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Hall County changes school shuffling plans

Planned new academy draws strong interest

POSTED: March 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Hall County school system no longer is looking at shuffling attendance lines to give a group of families the option of sending their child to the planned World Languages Academy.

Superintendent Will Schofield attributed that to "the tremendous interest that we've seen so far" in the academy, which has drawn 400 to 500 interested people.

"We may take care of a lot of our space issues just through ... (parents) choosing world language," he said. "We're not going to propose any more redistricting at this point."

Schofield plans to discuss the matter at the Hall County Board of Education's monthly work session, set to begin at 5 p.m. Monday at the central office at 711 Green St.

The school system was considering making the academy a permanent option for families who have seen their children moved in and out of three elementary districts during this decade.

Students in an area stretching from Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club in the south to Johnson High School in the north attended Chestnut Mountain Elementary School before they were moved to Martin Elementary School, and then to Chicopee Woods Elementary School.

When school system officials began talking last year about new attendance lines to accommodate the opening of the new Chestnut Mountain Elementary off Union Church Road, Royal Lakes residents stepped forward to see if boundary lines could be changed for them as well.

The new World Languages Academy will occupy the current Chestnut Mountain Elementary building, located at 4670 Winder Highway.

About 220 students from the area attend Chicopee Woods. Under the plan that was being considered, they would have had the choice of attending Chicopee Woods or the new academy.

The move also would have allowed the district to possibly relieve "severely overcrowded" conditions at Jones Elementary School, which is in the Chicopee Village community off Atlanta Highway.

World Languages Academy would feature a "dual-languages immersion" program featuring instruction of the state-required curriculum in two languages, English and Spanish, beginning with kindergarten and first grade.

Second through fifth grades would receive Mandarin Chinese "and other rigorous exploratory classes," as well as some Spanish instruction, school officials have said.

Hall County schools is seeking charter status for the academy from the state Department of Education.



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