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Academics Plus starts new year

Kindergarten students enjoy the playground during “Popsicles on the Playground” Aug. 8.
Kindergarten students enjoy the playground during “Popsicles on the Playground” Aug. 8.
Marianna O’Dea and executive director Rob McGill serve popsicles.
Marianna O’Dea and executive director Rob McGill serve popsicles.
Parent Marianna O’Dea and executive director Rob McGill serve popsicles to kindergarten students during the school’s “Popsicles on the Playground” social event after school Aug. 8.
Parent Marianna O’Dea and executive director Rob McGill serve popsicles to kindergarten students during the school’s “Popsicles on the Playground” social event after school Aug. 8.
Tucker Winningham poses with his teacher, Mrs. Rachel Homard, during open house.
Tucker Winningham poses with his teacher, Mrs. Rachel Homard, during open house.
Third grade student Madeline Winningham has a bright future ahead of her.
Third grade student Madeline Winningham has a bright future ahead of her.
New to middle school, Jaya Salgaonkar checks out her locker for the first time during open house.
New to middle school, Jaya Salgaonkar checks out her locker for the first time during open house.

Academics Plus Charter School started school with nearly 100 more students than last year, thanks to a cap increase approved last February by the state department of education. The school began classes on Aug. 7, following an open house the night before.

“The first few days have gone extremely smoothly,” said executive director Rob McGill. “We are excited to see all of the returning students as well as the new students we have this year.”

McGill added the campus looks a lot different this year, thanks to a uniform policy change. Students attending the school may now wear any solid-colored polo shirts.

“All of those colors the students are wearing have really brightened up the campus,” McGill said.

He said other new initiatives have begun this year at the school. Due to the increase in enrollment, the school added an elementary assistant principal, three new elementary teacher positions and an additional special education teacher. Academics Plus is also running its first daily morning and afternoon bus route. The bus picks up students in the Oak Grove, Palarm, Marche and Morgan Communities.

High school students who need additional help to achieve grade level standards in math are taking a Math Foundations Class. This class is in addition to their regular math course and is designed to catch them up so they can be successful in their current and future math classes.

In addition, to enhance course offerings, the high school is greatly expanding its digital learning program. Through digital learning, students are able to take individual online courses that meet their needs and interests.

“This individualization helps prepare students for college by providing courses in the field they are most interested in,” McGill added. “These classes also help students who need course recovery an avenue to take the courses during the summer or during the school year.”

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