Program settling into new location

From the The Brunswick News

An official with the Glynn County School System says the night school program seems to be doing fine since it left Golden Isles Career Academy for College of Coastal Georgia.

The college is closer to the thick of the population and has been accommodating to students.

Enrollment, however, is down, said Ricky Rentz, assistant superintendent for student achievement for the public school system.

The program helps local students in certain situations earn a high school diploma.

"Enrollment is down compared to what it used to be, but it's been steady," Rentz said. "We probably have anywhere from 15 to 20 kids a night consistently."

The students, who are still enrolled at their base high school, either at Glynn Academy or Brunswick High, work through e2020, an online program that provides them all of the classes they need.

Many of the students are in night school because of hardship situations like becoming a parent at a young age or working to provide for their families during the day, Rentz says.

The school system no longer provides transportation to night school, but that hasn't been an issue, Rentz said.

In a way, it's been helpful. It's helped the school system keep down cost.

There have been other savings, too.

"The cost of the program is much lower because we don't have to pay for a coordinator to oversee it and aren't paying for transportation," Rentz said.

"All we really pay is for an instructor to be there nightly. The college has provided us a space where we have put computers, but it supplies the Internet, the furniture and there's even security there."

Rentz hopes exposure to College of Coastal Georgia and to campus life will have a positive effect on night school students.

"I think being there is a real positive for the students and hopefully they see that possibility and they could continue there in the future," he said.

The program teetered on the edge of elimination several years ago until the school system received a grant in 2012 that paid for its continuation. In July, the board approved moving the program to the college and continued to use grant funding. At least $23,000, if not more, will roll over to the next school year.

"Since the cost has gone down tremendously, I think with the grant, we could continue to run it for a few more years before dipping into the general fund," Rentz said. "Before that would happen, we'd, of course, talk with the (school) board to make sure it's approved, but from our perspective, as long as our kids are benefitting from it and getting their high school diploma, I think it's great."

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Release Date: 1/27/2014
Source: The Brunswick News

By SARAH LUNDGREN