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Board of Education unanimously approves 2013-14 calendar

Board of Education unanimously approves 2013-14 calendar

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Newton County Board of Education has agreed upon a calendar for the 2013-14 school year.

The board unanimously approved a calendar that begins on Friday, Aug. 2 and ends on Friday, May 23.

Students will have a week-long break in early October and another one during the week of Thanksgiving. Winter break will run from Dec. 23 to Jan. 6.

A small winter break -- Feb. 19-21 -- will be followed by a week-long spring break in early April.

See the entire calendar at newtoncountyschools.org.

Newton County Schools announce Early Release Day

Newton County Schools announce Early Release Day

COVINGTON, Ga. -- The Newton County Schools System has announced an Early Release Day for students on Friday, January 18.

Teachers will take that afternoon to develop professional activities, according to a NCSS spokesperson. Students will have lunch before they are dismissed on Friday. Students who take busses home will be taken to their normal stops.

All elementary students, along with Newton County Theme School at Ficquett will be let out at 11:15 a.m., followed by high schoolers at 12:15 p.m., and middle school students to be released at 1:15 p.m.

That following Monday, Newton County schools will be closed for the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on January 21.

For more information, contact Newton County Schools at (770) 787-1330.

 

Graduation dates, times announced

Graduation dates, times announced

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Newton County School System has announced graduation dates and times for the county's three high schools.

Newton High students will walk across the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 24.

The other two high schools will hold their ceremonies on Saturday, May 25. Eastside High students will receive their diplomas at 9 a.m., while Alcovy High students will walk at 3 p.m.

All three ceremonies will be held at Springfield Baptist Church in Covington.

Oxford College Language Hall to reopen Jan. 13

Oxford College Language Hall to reopen Jan. 13

OXFORD, Ga. -- After six months of restoration, the Language Hall at Oxford College will reopen next weekend.

The building, which first went up in 1874, was renovated to add four classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, plus new faculty offices.

A reopening celebration will be held at 3 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Mathews responds to Sandy Hook ES massacre

Mathews responds to Sandy Hook ES massacre

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- In the wake of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Newton County Schools superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews wrote a letter to parents and students in his district.

RELATED | Mathews to retire in June

In the note, Mathews expresses his hurt at the loss of 20 students and six adults in the massacre. He also reassures parents that, in Newton County, "the safety of our students is our main concern and ... our schools have a crisis plan in place to help avoid tragedies such as these."

The letter also offers tips for parents to talk about the shooting with their young children.

96% of Newton students pass Ga. High School Writing Test

96% of Newton students pass Ga. High School Writing Test

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Ninety-six percent of high school juniors and seniors in Newton County passed the Georgia High School Writing Test in 2012.

Newton's 96 percent is much higher than Georgia's 93 percent, up from 91 percent in 2011 and 88 percent in 2007, when the more rigorous test was rolled out.

Students must pass the annual writing assessment to receive a high school diploma. A perfect score is 350; a student must earn at least 200 points to pass. They may take the test multiple times during their junior and senior years.

A breakdown for each Newton County high school is as follows:

Alcovy HS
386 students took the test
96.1 percent passed the test

Eastside HS
289 students took the test
96.5 percent passed the test

Newton HS
394 students took the test
95.4 percent passed the test

Schools superintendent to retire in June

Schools superintendent to retire in June

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Newton County School System superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews has announced his retirement.

Mathews' final day as superintendent will be June 30, 2013.

RELATED | Dr. Gary Mathews wins leadership award

He wrote a letter last Wednesday to the Newton County community, in which he outlined his reasons for retiring.

"Simply put, at age 60 in May, and after 38 years in public education inclusive of 21 years in the superintendency, I want to spend much more time with loved ones including my five grown children," the letter says.

Mathews' letter also thanks the school board, teachers, principals and office staff of the Newton County School System "for their dedication to and success at this important work."