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Class Notes: Hall may open IB programs to students from outside the county

POSTED: February 13, 2013 12:30 a.m.

Hall County Schools Superintendent Will Schofield has asked the Board of Education to open up its International Baccalaureate diploma program next year to eligible high school students outside the system on a tuition basis.

“I think that if we’re going to get serious about making that option available for high school students outside of Hall County, asking students to move when they’re juniors isn’t going to happen,” he told the board Monday night.

“We’re going to have to allow students to move into those pre-IB programs as ninth-graders,” Schofield said. “That’s when students and families think about making a move.”

He added that he recommends opening up the IB programs at Johnson, North Hall and West Hall high schools “based on space availability, first and foremost always to our own students ... but then, if there are still available seats, on a tuition basis for students outside the system.”

As far as tuition, “we’re still talking about that amount,” Schofield said. “We’re still looking at what other districts are charging.”

He did suggest $1,200 per year for an IB student.

“That would seem to be extremely market-sensitive,” Schofield said.

“There are really no additional costs to the system. The costs are fixed. We’ve paid for the training and we’ve got the courses. If we’ve got open seats, it would behoove us to find students who want to enter the program and sit in those seats.”

Hall County students would have until April 15 to make choices concerning IB or other programs. Depending on availability, the IB program would be opened to out-of-district students starting April 16.

Johnson High School cafeteria to be expanded

Hall County Schools is looking to add 3,000 square feet to the Johnson High School cafeteria in a $978,496 project that would be funded by the special purpose local option sales tax.

“Currently, we’re only serving 299 kids per lunch group there,” said Damon Gibbs, facilities director. “This (project) will give them capacity to serve between 450 and 475 students.”

The school board approved the project Monday night.

Snow adds an extra day to Hall County Schools

Hall County students will have an extra day of school this year, thanks to classes canceled Jan. 25 because of bad weather.

The school year will extend to May 23 from May 22, said Eloise Barron, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.

The system also is now looking at adding one “post-planning” day for teachers. If approved by the school board, elementary teachers would work May 24 and 28, and middle and high school teachers would work May 24 and 28-29.

“Those days could still shift forward, if we have more snow days,” Barron said.

The school system’s calendar also has May 24 and May 28-30 as potential inclement weather makeup days.

Students in Gainesville City Schools won’t have to make up the day.

“As a charter system, we have broad flexibility waivers on seat time,” Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

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