CO-DIRECTORS of the Grady County site Brandon Joiner, left, and Tom Fallaw, right, are pictured with Ricky Rentz, superintendent of Coastal Plains Education Charter High School, during Monday’s open house.
Grady County has a new option when it comes to earning a high school diploma. Coastal Plains Charter High School is a tuition free night school program that will be offered on the campus of Cairo High School.
Students will learn at their own pace, and courses are “mastery-based, which means you cannot fail a course,” states the program information.
During an open house on Monday, site co-directors Tom Fallaw and Brandon Joiner said the response to the program was better than anticipated with more than 40 students expected to enroll.
Classes will take place in the Vocational Building on the campus of Cairo High School, Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The school is offered year-round, and summer hours during June and July are 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Students enrolled in Coastal Plains will have technology-based learning with in-person teacher support and tutoring available during the night school hours. Certified teachers already working in Grady County Schools have been hired to also work for Coastal Plains and can work up to 10 hours each week, if needed.
Ricky Rentz, superintendent of Coastal Plains, was on hand for Monday’s open house, along with all of the teachers he has hired. “This is extra income for these teachers,” Rentz explains.
Students who choose the Coastal Plains route, will work at their own pace to learn. “There are no deadlines, so you can take as much or as little time as you need to successfully complete your coursework,” states the program information.
For students up to the age of 21, tuition is free. After 21, tuition is $50 per credit hour, Rentz says. Coastal Plains requires only 23 credit hours to graduate with a high school diploma. Cairo High School students must have 28 credit hours to earn a diploma.
“Often, the students we serve have dropped out or are behind. Some want to join the military, which doesn’t accept a G.E.D., so we help them get a diploma,” says Rentz. “Other kids don’t want the drama of high school, but want to go to college.”
Coastal Plains is currently offered on the campuses of mainly South Georgia high schools. Other sites are in Camden, Candler, Coffee, Colquitt, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Screven, and Wayne counties and the city of Vidalia.