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Class Notes: Hall Board of Education discusses international field trips

POSTED: September 4, 2013 1:00 a.m.

At the Aug. 26 meeting of the Hall County Board of Education, members discussed the process for approving international field trips.

The consensus was that international trips need to be limited to high school students, and should not interfere with class time as much as possible.

“It looks like there’s such an array of these trips that happen throughout the year that folks can plan most of them during breaks,” said Superintendent Will Schofield. He mentioned there have been instances when students have been unable to return home when planned on domestic trips, interfering with school time. Schofield suggested international field trips take place on extended breaks, such as the spring break or over summer vacation.

Three individual high school trips to Europe, including a drama-class trip to England and another trip to Italy, were what brought up the topic. The trips are voluntary, with no bearing on student grades.

“Most other systems are bringing those before the board for approval, so we should probably be doing the same thing,” said Chairman Nath Morris.

Board member Bill Thompson said international field trips add to a student’s education.

“This could be one of the most beneficial activities that these kids can have,” Thompson said. “If we are going to have international baccalaureate schools, we need to give (students) every opportunity to be on the same page as everybody else in the international community, so to speak.”

Department of Education honors Gainesville for nutrition participation

Gainesville Exploration Academy, Fair Street School and New Holland Core Knowledge Academy have received awards from the Georgia Department of Education for having a high participation rate in the school nutrition program.

During the 2011-12 school year, nearly 75 percent of Georgia students ate lunch at school every day. Thirty-six percent ate breakfast at school.

Gainesville Exploration Academy received an award for both breakfast and lunch, with 66 percent of students eating breakfast and 97 percent eating lunch.

Ninety-three percent of Fair Street students ate lunch, and New Holland had an 86 percent participation rate.

These numbers came prior to the Gainesville system providing free meals for all students, though they were still eligible for free and reduced-price meals during the 2011-12 school year.

“Children that are hungry cannot learn,” said Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. “They can’t concentrate to learn, and children that don’t have good nutrition ... don’t develop and grow to their maximum potential.”

Carly Sharec covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:



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