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Hall opens IB programs to out-of-district students

Pupils can fill open seats on tuition basis

POSTED: March 11, 2013 9:38 p.m.

Rising freshmen, sophomores and juniors from outside the Hall County school district will have a chance to enroll in any open seats at the districts’ three high school International Baccalaureate programs plus the new science, technology, engineering and mathematics program for the 2013–14 school-year.

At the Hall County Board of Education’s work session Monday night, the board voted unanimously to open the rolls to Johnson, North Hall and West Hall high schools, as well as the new STEM program at North Hall.

According to the district, approximately 20 open seats are predicted to be open at each location.

This is the first tuition-paying option the board has considered in the last 20 years, a school district news release stated.

After the April 15 deadline for Hall County Schools students to enroll, any remaining seats will open up to out-of-district applicants. All new applicants must meet admission requirements, the release also stated.

Furthermore, each out-of-district student accepted will be charged tuition of $1,200 per year to be paid in two installments with $600 due prior to Aug. 1 and the remaining $600 due before Jan. 1. A one-time payment will also be accepted prior to Aug. 1.

The board also voted unanimously to move forward with the STEM school, which opens in a wing of NHHS in the fall of 2013. Kenny Childs, science teacher, along with principal Joe Gheesling, gave a presentation on the STEM school.

“This is an exciting time, and we are always looking for a challenge,” said Gheesling.

“We want to address what certain businesses and industries want,” he said.

Gheesling said Childs has been doing the “pick and shovel work” for the school.

Childs said students in the program will be able to earn a Georgia STEM Program Certification.

He said the district needs to identify students for the program, hire qualified teachers, be performance-based and show consistency in the access process.

To optimize student technology, learning malls with glass walls will replace some of the school’s cinder block walls. This will provide a more open concept to STEM technology for students and observers, Childs said.

Superintendent Will Schofield said the school district’s agricultural studies might someday soon benefit from the STEM concept as bioscience and technology meld together.

“We are the center of the poultry world and the poultry industry,” said Schofield, “The sky’s the limit.”


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