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Thursday May 28th, 2015 2:12PM

'Test out' students could pay for the test

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville High School students who decide to 'test out' of a course instead of taking it under new state legislation would pay for that test in a recommendation Monday night from School Superintendent Merrianne Dyer.

Board members agreed to wait for a policy and procedure draft from Dr. Dyer at next month's meeting with additional guidance from the State Board of Education.

"This policy will be the result of three pieces of legislation which fundamentally change the way high school students can earn credit," Dr. Dyer said. "The most visible is the 'test out' option."

Dr. Dyer said it is up to local boards to decide if the school system or parents and students pay for the 'test out' test and she recommended that students and parents pay for it.

"We recommended that the student and parent with enough advance preparation and education about the consequence of taking the test," she added. "We would foresee having a teacher recommend that they take the test, with the teacher's assurance that the student was prepared to do that."

The new test out option could also impact the grade point average of students who become seniors in four more years.

"There's the issue of 8th grade course credit," Dyer said. "It applies to all students sitting in high school now and this would possibly impact their GPA (Grade Point Average). The whole policy is one of those things that will change things for the high school students who are in mid-stream; it is something we need to think through very thoughtfully."

2014 BUDGET MEANS 10 FURLOUGH DAYS

Board members adopted their FY 2014 budget Monday night with ten unpaid furlough days for teachers. Dr. Dyer said she hopes to reduce those furlough days, but said the Board passed a cautious $58.2-million spending plan despite a healthy fund balance or reserve fund. Part of that fund is offsetting another round of state funding cuts.

"There are 10 reduced calendar days in our budget as we crafted it," Dr. Dyer said. "We do hope that we can come back and review at the end of September and possibly later in the year just as we did this year and hopefully restore some of those days."

IT WILL DISAPPEAR

The old Hall County Parks and Leisure Services Building on Rainey Street around the corner from Gainesville High School will soon disappear under a transfer agreement between the county and the Gainesville Board of Education.
When Parks and Leisure Services moved out the building became vacant and Dr. Dyer said the School Board was interested in the land.

"There are no plans construct anything on the site," Dr. Dyer said. "Likely we will demolish it and use it for parking, and have that land for future expansion."
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