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Wauka school closer to charter status
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In other news:

  • The board accepted a low bid from Bank of America to provide a $9 million tax anticipation note with a 1.13 percent interest rate. The note will be used to cover system operation expenses until property taxes are collected in late fall. The note must be repaid by December 2009.
  • The superintendent updated the board on the Qualified School Construction Bonds that are now available to school districts under the federal stimulus act. The 15-year bonds are tax-free and can be used for school construction, renovation, or to purchase land for future school construction. The board sent a letter of intent to pursue $2 million of the bonds in 2009 and another $2 million in 2010. The bonds would be used buy instructional technology.
  • The board was updated on H1N1 prevention procedures including daily nurse updates and reports, Web site and e-mail notifications, custodial and instructional staff sanitizing procedures, bus driver sanitation procedures and lunchroom hand cleaning procedures.

Source: Hall County schools Superintendent Will Schofield

Wauka Mountain Elementary School’s charter petition won approval from the Hall County school board Tuesday, moving it one step closer to becoming a charter school next fall.

The school is asking the state Board of Education for permission to become a Multiple Intelligences Academy, which allows teachers to instruct students based on their strengths in art, sports or communication, for example.

Gerald Boyd, school improvement specialist for Hall County schools, said Wauka Mountain parents and faculty members will vote on the charter petition this month before it is sent to the state by Nov. 1.

“With a charter, you have to have that community vote. You have to have that faculty vote,” Boyd said. “The community and faculty really have to be ready for a charter. It really is a community process.”

He said Wauka Mountain is the first of five Hall County schools seeking charter status this fall. Chestatee Middle, Martin Elementary, Johnson High and McEver Elementary schools intend to open as charter schools next August, he said.

Faculty members of Chestatee Middle also presented their Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development charter model to the Hall school board Tuesday. The charter school plans to build upon Sardis Elementary’s schoolwide enrichment model that identifies students’ strengths and molds delivery of the curriculum to each students’ interests and learning styles.

Martin Elementary is developing a math, science and technology charter program. Boyd said McEver Elementary is working on a fine arts charter program that will involve art faculty members from Gainesville State College and Brenau University.

Johnson High School’s charter petition, which features an International Scholars Academy, is likely to be the system’s most unique charter, he said. If approved, the academy will teach a curriculum built on the school’s existing International Baccalaureate program, world languages and global studies.

“It will be the only one like it in the state because they’re doing a school within a school,” Boyd said.

He said he expects the five schools to hear back from the state school board by April.

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