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Higher enrollment sought by board
The 455 students enrolled at Golden Isles Career Academy this fall may be the most ever for the program in its four years, but school board members say they remain concerned about how many are getting the chance enroll there.

"I don't want the school system to be doing anything that denies a student from taking a class out at GICA," board member Hank Yeargan said at the board's regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

Yeargan and other board members became concerned a year ago when career academy enrollment dipped to just 272 during the fall semester.

Glynn Academy registrar Julie Spires told the board Tuesday that cooperation between counselors and principals at both public high schools and at the career academy to create a master schedule has helped to boost the numbers.

There is still room for improvement, however, in scheduling around skinny classes, Spires said. A skinny is a block period cut in half to stretch a class out over both semesters.

"I think this year we could do a much better job of pairing classes to allow more flexibility in the schedule," Spires said.

Of students enrolled, 34 spend their entire day at the career academy by taking academic courses it is offering for the first time this year, Spires said.

Career academy Principal Senetra Haywood presented the numbers with Spires.

When including spring semester enrollment in January, Haywood predicted a total attendance of 778 this school year.

Some 669 students from Altamaha Technical College also attend class in the building.

"So we are running full time, at 100 percent capacity, every day," Haywood said.

The career academy is a locally approved charter school that opened in 2009 to offer career and technical education.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a resolution opposing an amendment that will be voted on statewide in the Nov. 6 general election that would reestablish a state committee with the power to create charter schools without the consent of local boards.

* Received a report from Ricky Rentz, assistant superintendent for student achievement, who said a final report on an improvement plan for Advanced Placement exam scores and performance should be ready by Nov. 13.

* Was informed by Superintendent Howard Mann that a traffic light at McKenzie Road and U.S. 341 in Sterling will not be installed until May 2013 at the earliest. Mann said the design of the project has been delayed until utility lines are rerouted.



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