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KRISTEN HART/HICKORY DAILY RECORD: Brann Reid was presented a replica professional wrestling belt at the Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education meeting where he was recognized for earning his third straight state tennis title.

Brann Reid, a junior at Newton-Conover High School, was recognized by the Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education for earning his third straight state title in tennis.

Aron Gabriel, superintendent of Newton-Conover City Schools, awarded Reid with a WWE wrestling belt. “I’m starting a new tradition,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said the idea was inspired by college football teams where players wear medallions or wrestling belts on the sidelines signifying their individual achievement. The University of Miami's turnover chain is an example.

Gabriel said he will continue to award other athletes from Newton-Conover with a wrestling belt for their individual athletic achievements.

School board approves AIG Program for the next three years

The Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education approved the district’s Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) plan for the next three academic years during their regular meeting on Monday.

Approving this plan means students will continue to take the CoGAT test which was introduced this year. The test is taken in three parts: qualitative, quantitative and non-verbal.

One change in the AIG plan will mean the test will now be administered in the third grade rather than the fourth grade.

The test was moved to be taken in fourth grade in 2016 because it was thought students were taking too many standardized tests in third grade, according to Cheryl Rhea, AIG coordinator for Newton-Conover City Schools.

After monitoring the change and noting that test results did not arrive until halfway through a student’s fourth-grade year, the district is moving the testing back to the third grade.

The district will also continue their focus on personalized learning for students who have mastered content but may not be identified as AIG so they will receive additional acceleration and enrichment opportunities.

School board approves policy change on repeating a course

The Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education approved changes to board policy on repeating a course for which credit was earned with one key change.

Policy 3420 section J says the board recognizes that special circumstances may arise when high school students may need to repeat a course for which they have earned credit in order to increase their understanding of the course content, to improve skill mastery or to meet postsecondary goals.

Instead of a student having to earn a C or lower to repeat a course, students will now have to earn a D to be eligible to repeat the course, according to the revised board policy.

This policy will go into effect starting in the 2019-2020 school year, according to Aron Gabriel, superintendent of Newton-Conover City Schools.

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