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2 nontraditional schools ready to enroll students
Classrooms allow students to set pace
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How to apply

Sardis Enrichment School
What: Lottery for out-of-zone students
When: By April 30
Where: 2805 Sardis Road, Gainesville
More info: 770-532-0104

Woods Mill High School
What: Spot at new nontraditional school
Where: Pick up application at Gainesville High School, 830 Century Place, Gainesville
More info: Lisa.Sheehy@gcssk12.net or Sheryl.Williams@gcssk12.net.

Two local schools that offer students a nontraditional classroom experience are looking for new pupils.

Both Sardis Enrichment School and Woods Mill High School are currently accepting applications.

The 2010-11 school year will mark the first full year for Woods Mill, which is located in the old Gainesville Middle School building on Woods Mill Road. A pilot program began at the school this spring.

Unlike traditional high schools, the school day at Woods Mill won’t be dictated by regimented class schedules.

“The bulk of the academic content is delivered online — that allows a flexible schedule,” said Sheryl Williams, school co-director. “Bells are not a part of our daily routine.”

Students at the school can work at their own pace as long as they make satisfactory progress toward graduation.

“For example, if students want to study history all day long, or even all month long, that is possible — provided all graduation requirements are eventually met.”

As in other Georgia high schools, students will be required to obtain 23 credit hours in order to receive a diploma, Williams said.
Since students set their own schedules, teachers will play a different role at the school.

“The role of the teacher (will be to act) as facilitator,” Williams said. “They will spend their time providing tutoring one-on-one and in small groups.

After polling students at the beginning of the school year, Woods Mill administrators will plan seminars and other learning activities, Williams said.

All students who are eligible to attend Gainesville High School may apply for acceptance into Woods Mill. According to co-director Lisa Sheehy, the facility can accommodate about 150 students.

Administrators at Sardis Enrichment School also have a limited number of seats available for students. The 2010-2011 school year will be the second year as an enrichment school for Sardis. A hallmark of an enrichment school is student participation in specialized clusters related to their interests. Each cluster is designed to expose students to new ideas and eventually lead to independent or small-group projects.

Officials are now accepting applications for elementary students who are outside the school’s attendance zone but who are a part of the Hall County school system. With only 30 to 40 seats available, students will be selected by lottery and the results will be posted on the county system’s website.

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