Peach schools propose changes to classes

jmink@macon.comMarch 26, 2013 

FORT VALLEY -- Some Peach County classes might be a little different next year if the board of education approves changes discussed Tuesday at its work session.

Board members heard proposals to add Advanced Placement courses at the high school and a resolution to increase class sizes, if necessary.

Peach County High School currently offers six Advanced Placement courses, and that number is expected to increase to eight next academic year and to 13 during the 2014-2015 academic year. Next year, students will have the option of taking AP classes in world history, biology, chemistry, calculus, statistics, English literature and composition, and microeconomics. Also, for the first time, an AP class -- American government and politics -- will be offered to freshmen.

“This will be quite a good thing for our Trojan Academy,” Gail Swain, district director of grants and administrative services, said about the district’s freshman academy.

With the help of grant money, five additional teachers will undergo training this year to teach AP classes, Swain said.

Board members also will vote on a resolution for a class size waiver during the board’s regular meeting April 9. To give schools more leeway when new students move into the district, Swain suggested the board ask to add one student to the maximum class size in both regular classes and remedial classes, and two extra students to special education classes. The Georgia Department of Education specifies how many students can be in each class depending on the grade level, and school boards can request additions to those class limits, Swain said.

Capital projects

School board members must decide in the next couple of months whether they want to move forward with the projects slated for 2015 in the district’s five-year capital plan -- and, if so, which projects. State applications for funding must be submitted by the end of August.

A bevy of projects are listed for 2015, including new gym floors and roofs for some schools, a complete renovation of the high school kitchen and other upgrades.The district recently spent more than $7 million on several projects, Superintendent Joe Ann Denning said, including new heating and air conditioning systems in Byron Elementary, Fort Valley Middle and Peach County High Schools; emergency gas shut-off valves in the high school science labs and new kitchen equipment in the middle school. Those projects are being completed, according to a capital project document.

As far as the incomplete projects, “there’s nothing on that list that we can’t wait for,” Denning said.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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