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Posted: July 9, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Opportunities for success

Chris Queen/

Non-traditional approach: Glenn and Amanda McCullough are the co-owners of Covington Academy, a school that focuses on educating children while also strengthening their bond with Christ. Amanda serves as the head administrator for the school.

Education is key to a child’s success throughout life, and most parents want to find the best possible education for their children. There are many opportunities for quality education in Newton County, from public schools to private academies to home schooling. One local school is working to provide a Christian-based education in a unique atmosphere.

Covington Academy opened as A Time 4 Learning tutoring center in 2005. Within two years, the school began offering home school and non-traditional learning services. They became accredited with the Georgia Accrediting Commission in 2007 and achieved a Quality rating, the highest level of accreditation, in 2009. Originally located in Porterdale, Covington Academy moved to its current facility on Elm Street in November 2009.

"We provide a solid traditional education in a Christian environment while using a non-traditional approach," said Amanda McCullough, co-owner and head administrator at Covington Academy. "We believe this approach creates opportunities for success."

Covington Academy has small class sizes, with most classes having ten or fewer students. The teachers have four-year degrees, with many having master’s degrees and/or special education certification. Students with special needs are given additional attention, and the school participates in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program. Additionally, Covington Academy offers Ability Grouping, where students who excel in one or more subjects can learn those subjects at a higher grade level.

"We have at least ten kids in dual enrollment with Georgia Perimeter or DeKalb Tech, and four of our students graduated a year early last year," said McCullough.

One feature that truly sets Covington Academy apart is its Christian atmosphere and Biblical emphasis. The school uses A Beka, a challenging, Biblically based curriculum. Students learn Bible verses, and they earn rewards for Scripture memorization. Their science curriculum teaches concepts from a creationist point of view, and even math and spelling exercises promote Biblical principles. The school holds chapel twice a month on campus. Every year, the students of Covington Academy hold an Others Day event, where they raise funds to help people within the community.

"In the past, our kids have helped the elderly and washed fire trucks," said McCullough. "Others Day is our way of giving back."

The school has an innovative facility, with 15 classrooms, five of which are new; all the school’s classrooms are video monitored. The building includes a hardwood dodgeball court, a computer lab with over thirty computers, a collection of animals and reptiles, and cafeteria space. A large open area known as The Pit is used for lectures, meetings and chapel. The facility offers opportunities for students of all ages to mingle with each other outside of their classroom time.

"One of the things that makes us most unique is the interaction our administrators have with our students and teachers," said McCullough. "The majority of our parents will tell you that they actually feel their kids are cared for, and our teachers will tell you that they can come to me and I will actually understand."

Covington Academy offers extracurricular activities as well, including sports, dance classes, and field trips. The school also has a PTO, which parents can join at any time. Once a month, the school hosts Party On Elm, an event for kids age 7 and up with music and inflatables; the August event will include a concert by Covington Academy students. Though not affiliated with a particular church, Covington Academy hosts a Vacation Bible School every year.

In addition to regular academic services, Covington Academy offers after school care for its students as well as students from other schools, tutoring, homework help groups, a home school co-op, public school credit recovery, and standardized test preparation. The school is open for regular classes Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; after school care, home school co-op, and tutoring take place from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day Friday. Students may also attend on Friday if they need extra help or to make up work.

Many students from Newton County Schools, as well as Salem High School in Rockdale County, are referred to Covington Academy for summer school or credit recovery.

"We’re fortunate to have such a good relationship with the public school systems in Newton and Rockdale counties," said McCullough.

Covington Academy is holding an Open House on July 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Prospective students and their families are welcome to attend along with the families of students currently enrolled. For more information about the school, call (678) 625-9025 to schedule a tour or visit covingtonacademy.com for details about tuition and fees.

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