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Academy moves to the CTC

Hopkins County Schools Academy students will report to a new location when school starts this week.Hopkins County Schools Academy Classroom

The Academy is moving to an open area at the Career and Technology Center.

“We had some available space in the tech center,” said Marty Cline, director of secondary instruction. “They do have a dedicated principal in that building and a dedicated guidance counselor, which is something the Academy did not have at the previous location.”

Former Academy Principal Barry Nelson retired at the end of the previous school year. CTC Principal Pam Todd has experience as an alternate school principal, so she accepted those duties and the district didn’t have to hire a new principal, Cline said.

“It seemed like a great fit, and an opportunity for those students to come over,” he added.

Todd said, "We welcome the Academy students to the CTC. I look forward to helping all of our students achieve success."

The mission of Hopkins County Schools Academy is to positively intervene with students who are not succeeding in the traditional school environment. The program has been growing. In 2017, there were 33 graduates, with 59 graduating in 2018.

“It’s an alternative means to a high school diploma,” Nelson said. “There are students who just do not function well in a traditional setting in the high schools. Being able to come into a smaller setting and get more one-on-one attention while working at their own pace is clearly beneficial.”

Students go to the Academy for morning or afternoon sessions of computer-based instruction. Nelson recalled several students with health issues who were able to successfully earn a diploma at the Academy, as well as teen parents who were able to finish school while caring for their children.

In another new initiative, a GED program is starting at the Academy this year. Through this program, 17-year-old students who do not have enough credits for admission to the Academy and cannot mathematically graduate by the end of the school year will have the opportunity to attend the Academy with the goal of earning GED.

The transition to the new location started this summer, with the Academy’s Summer School being held at the CTC. It went smoothly, Cline said.

“This is all brand new to us, but we meticulously put a plan together,” said Assistant Superintendent Charles Gant. “We expect this will be a successful transition.”