The Hall County Board of Education on Monday approved Friendship Elementary as a program of choice school thanks to the success of its Advanced Scholars Program.
The school has a capacity of 850 students, but just about 650 are currently enrolled, Superintendent Will Schofield said.
That allows room for student enrollment growth for the scholars program, which was initially designed for first- through fifth-graders who excel or show promise in creative and innovative learning initiatives.
The program was started in 2013 with just four certified teachers, but now has 17 “gifted endorsed” teachers facilitating the program.
The program will be expanded to include eligible kindergartners in the 2018-19 academic year, and these students will be selected based on scores on a screening test given to all incoming kindergarten students.
The program seeks to propel and inspire problem solving, cooperation, critical thinking and creativity, for example, through projects like helping construct a school amphitheater, outdoor learning and use of new technology.
The application process for first- through fifth-graders includes submitting report cards and test scores; a parent questionnaire; recommendation from two teachers and a parent-involvement agreement.