TIFTON -- The Tift County School System's extended day program has grown, due to targeting youth through early intervention. Betty Newkirk, assistant superintendent for instruction, told board of education members Tuesday there's no cost for the program and she wants to hold class sizes ideally to 10 students per teacher.

"Our emphasis is on reading and language arts," Newkirk said. She added that although it's not required by the state, some math help may be provided. The program is funded through state and federal money. Each system is responsible for designing its own program. Students aren't forced into the program, which takes place after regular school hours for about an hour. Students are then taken home.

Newkirk said that the number of students enrolled in the after-school program has increased, and cites better advertising and word of mouth as the reason.

Also, school bus driver Sabrina Munoz and her husband addressed BOE members during their monthly meeting.

Munoz was involved in an accident earlier this year. She introduced an accident report to the board in order to determine her employment status. While in executive session, the board decided not to terminate Munoz's employment, instead placing her on unpaid suspension for 20 school days.

In other business:

Assistant Superintendent for Operations Jonathan Bennett reported on the status of the Matt Wilson gym. The gym and all other classrooms were recently painted.

Patrick Atwater, primary grades curriculum director, provided a report on the new primary school. Minor changes were made after the Tift County Health Department's revision of the plans.

Richard Golden, board president, proposed placing a permanent plaque at Brodie Stadium. The proposal was unanimously approved.

To contact reporter Marie Arrington, call 382-4321, ext. 206.

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