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Posted: October 30, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Liberal Arts Academy students continue to be challenged academically

The academically rigorous Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High School is operating in its first year as a school within a school and already students are flourishing according to a presentation to members of the Newton County School System Board of Education that included information provided by students.

The academy currently has 59 students enrolled, the majority, 38, are freshman, 15 are sophomores, five are juniors and there is one senior enrolled and at the beginning of each spring semester ALANHS will hold informal parent/student meetings so that those interested can learn more about the program. Applications will also be sent to middle schools throughout the county allowing eighth grade students the opportunity to attend meetings as well.

For those interested, however, much is required for consideration for admission into the academy. Admission consideration is based on grade point average and course level, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, résumé/writing samples and attendance and discipline records.

Along with the rigorous and accelerated curriculum, students at ALANHS are provided with extracurricular academic opportunities, a partnership with Oxford College of Emory University and a sustained community service component.

"The students enrolled in the Academy of Liberal Arts at NHS are receiving an accelerated, more rigorous curriculum within the academic content areas that includes a faster pace through the GPS of the subject to allow more time to delve into areas not fully covered by high school textbooks or covered very minimally," according to a presentation given to the board. "The students are completing several research assignments in each academic discipline with an emphasis on cross-curricular topics."

Students at the academy are challenged by reading assignments that include novels and academic journals and encouraged to explore other writings as well.

"Through curricular enhancements and instructional preparation, Newton High School will continue to further the knowledge and experience of our students to better prepare them for the intensity of competitive academic institutions beyond high school.

"As the standards are raised for students enrolled in ALANHS and teachers are providing enhanced instruction across the curriculum, increased academic achievement will permeate throughout the total school," reads the final thought of the presentation given. "As a result, Newton High School will provide meaningful learning opportunities for all students."

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