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2 Hall schools may try for charter status
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Hall County could be seeing more charter schools in its future.

At Tuesday’s Hall County Board of Education work session, Eloise Barron, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, announced that Sardis and Martin elementary schools each received a $5,000 Charter School Planning Grant, allowing them to begin the process of applying for charter school status.

"Sardis will be able — Nov. 1 of this year — to go ahead and apply for their implementation grant but because of the timing. ... It’ll be a year from this November before (Martin) can apply for the implementation grant," Barron said.

Hall County’s first charter school, World Language Academy, opened this year and focuses on a bilingual curriculum.

"Sardis is studying the school-wide enrichment model for charter, and Martin is pursuing a math science charter so we’re really excited about that and continue to encourage them," Superintendent Will Schofield said.

Following disappointing scores from Georgia high schoolers on the SAT, Hall County is taking measures to help interested students increase their scores.

Terry Sapp, assistant principal at Chestatee High School, presented new ways the county will help kids boost their test performance.

Hall County is targeting 50 students at various high schools who scored in the "middle ranges" on the SAT and who want to "take it serious and want to put in the effort," to attend extracurricular tutoring, Schofield said.

The Kaplan courses will take place over six Saturdays at North Hall and Flowery Branch high schools, and students will take four practice tests.

There will also be an opportunity 100 more students to take the Kaplan course online.

The board also brainstormed ways to improve facility maintenance in some of the older schools in the county and cut costs throughout the system.

"With 4 million square feet of space and a lot of that aging space, 50 years and older, maintenance issues are going to grow; they’re not going to get smaller. At the same time we’re seeing financial times that are tougher than we’ve seen in recent history, so the bottom line is, we’re going to have to get more creative ... Try to make the same number of dollars go farther," Schofield said.