Parents will have a few more options and some flexibility to sign their child up for Rockdale County Public schools with specialized programs next year.
The schools with specialized programs, which are implemented grade-wide, are: CJ Hicks' International Baccalaureate program grades K-3, Honey Creek Elementary's STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) focused program grades 4-5, Sims Elementary's AVID (Advancement Via Individual Development) program for college preparation grades 4-5, Microsoft Information Technology Academy at each high school.
Memorial Middle School will also kick off the STEM Academy of Environmental Studies, which will be for a limited number of students within each grade.
Chief Academic Officer Leslie DeMarco reported to the school board Thursday night that the system was planning to offer up to 50 additional seats per school for Rockdale students that are not zoned in the areas of these schools.
Demarco explained that students who are already zoned for those schools will not have to apply, except for Memorial Middle's science academy, which will operate as a school within a school.
"We're interested in targeting students interests and motivations" by offering school choices, she said.
For now it looks like transportation will be provided for non-zoned students, said Superintendent Richard Autry, pending on the budget outlook.
An informational meeting for interested parents will be on April 23, 5:30 p.m. at Rockdale Career Academy.
Applications will be due April 16-30. Interviews of students and parents will be conducted May 1- 10.
If there are more applicants than seats available, a lottery will be held May 14.
For more information, go to http://portal.rockdale.k12.ga.us/Pages/Specialty-and-Choice-Options.aspx