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Hall County Schools planning early college campus
Facility would be at old Jones Elementary campus
The Hall County School District is making plans for an early college campus at the old Sylvester B. Jones Elementary School in South Hall. - photo by Kristen Oliver

Dual enrollment isn’t always an option for those high school students who don’t have access to a car.

The Hall County School District has a solution to the problem.

The district’s board of education discussed the possibility of creating an “early college campus,” to which students could catch a shuttle from their high school and take college-level classes at the new campus each day.

“We’re talking about, possibly as early as next fall, creating an opportunity to have an early college campus in the Hall County School District,” said Superintendent Will Schofield, who added the campus could be housed on the old Sylvester B. Jones Elementary School property, where the school still stands.

The campus is half a mile from Lanier Charter Career Academy and within a mile of the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus and the adjacent Lanier Technical College campus.

“We’re already offering shuttles from every traditional high school to the LCCA campus, so transportation would be provided,” Schofield said. “All of a sudden we would have a campus in our school district where kids would have access to university and technical-college level coursework while they are still under our wing.”

The campus would offer classes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., he said, and would run through a partnership with a state university and technical college. The district has been in discussions with some potential partners already, according to Laurie Ecke, assistant director of innovative and advanced programs.

“It really is so different than dual enrollment,” Ecke said. “With dual enrollment, the student has to be prepared to drive there with their own car, or maybe a parent shuttling back and forth. But there are so many students who don’t have access to that.”

Ecke added the campus would help students “begin to think of themselves as potential college students.”

Eloise Barron, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said the school facility is ideal, in great condition and in a perfect location.

Schofield called it “the best of both worlds” for Hall students.

“They could still be a high school student, still be under our wing and learn what it means to become a college student taking that college curriculum at one of our facilities,” he said.

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