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High school students gaining night classes option in Hall
Mountain Education Charter High School location will be at Lanier Charter Career Academy
0610CHARTER - williams
Greg Williams, former West Hall High School principal, is the administrator for the new Hall County site of Mountain Education Charter High School. It will be at the Lanier Charter Career Academy. Registration is June 20-23, and classes start July 11. - photo by RON BRIDGEMAN

A new evening program for high school students is taking registration and will open in July at the Lanier Charter Career Academy.

Mountain Education Charter High School plans to open its 14th site July 11, but registration and an open house will be June 20-23.

The school will have a familiar face. Greg Williams, former West Hall High School principal and athletic director, is administrator for MEC.

Williams worked in the Hall County school system for 34 years, he said. He was the boys basketball coach at North Hall High School for 18 years.

The facility is opening here, Williams said, because “there really was not a nighttime option for kids to go to school” in Hall County.

He emphasized that MEC is a charter high school, not an alternative program or GED facility.

Students work at their own pace and can move as quickly or as slowly as they need. Certified teachers are in each classroom, Williams said. Students can choose the courses they work on each night. The school has flexible attendance requirements.

He explained about 55 part-time instructors have been hired for the new program.

The program is free, and students also get dinner free each night because MEC is a Title I school. MEC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Classes are from 4:30-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Free tutoring and mentoring services are provided.

He said a “student services hub” is available with a graduation coach, graduation partner, counselor, social worker and “move on when ready” counselor.

Students “get a lot of attention,” he said. All students take a “tools for college” course when they start. The course gives students “an idea of what they want to do after high school,” he said.

Williams said courses are available for grades 9-12. Students attend MEC “for various reasons,” he said.

“They just don’t fit into the traditional school. They might want to work,” Williams said. “We have children that just want to move ahead quickly.”

He explained that classes have no more than 20 students, and often as few as 10.

“Everybody’s at a different point on the computer,” Williams said. Each student works on a Chromebook, he explained.

A classroom for math, Williams said, “might have several math courses going on there.”

He emphasized that a diploma from MEC is just like one from any other Georgia high school.

MEC has about 3,000 students among all of its sites, Williams said. He said it became a “state chartered special school” in 2007 has been “really exploding” since.

The school opened in 1993 as a three-county collaboration in Towns, Fannin and Union. Its office is in Cleveland.

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