Weekly Charter News Roundup: Nov. 2 – Nov. 11

High School graduation rates are increasing throughout Georgia, including at a number of charter schools in Fulton County.

  • Hapeville Charter Career Academy had one of the highest graduation rates for Fulton County high schools.

  • Last week, the Birmingham Board of Education paid a visit to Atlanta to learn about public charter schools in Georgia.

  • The Baldwin Board of Education is getting its petition to become a charter system ready and plans to vote on the petition during its December board meeting.

  • The Clarke County School District could send in its application to become a charter school district as early as next month.

  • AJC opinion writer Maureen Downey writes about whether parents should devote their time to fix struggling neighborhood schools or seek charter alternatives.

  • Police are investigating money that allegedly went missing from Fulton County’s Latin Grammar School and Latin College Preparatory School.

  • A number of former Ivy Preparatory Academy students recently began classes in the DeKalb County School System.

  • A new National Alliance for Public Charter Schools report finds the number of U.S. students enrolled in charter schools is growing. The report says Hall County, Georgia is one of the communities with the highest percentages of students enrolled in a public charter school. The Atlanta Public School District ranks in the top 50 for the number of students attending a charter school.

  • The Savannah Morning News reports that some Savannah-Chatham County Public School Board members have softened their stance on proposed cuts to bus service for charter and specialty schools.

Introducing 6 New Locally Approved Charter Schools

By GCSA

As the calendar runs down to the opening days of school, many are asking where Georgia’s newest startup charter schools will be opening? 

Here’s the list of locally authorized public charter schools (schools approved by their local school district) that are starting up in Georgia for the new school year. These mission-driven public schools address local community needs and demonstrate remarkable geographic diversity. Their varied curricula and educational approaches reflect the innovation that charter schools are meant to deliver. 

Furlow Charter School, Americus, GA (Sumter County Public Schools)

  • Serving grades K-12
  • 300 Cherokee Street, Americus, GA

The mission of Furlow Charter School is to offer a different approach to public education by encouraging critical thinking and multi-disciplinary learning through an active and engaging education. Furlow Charter School is committed to fostering cultural awareness, social responsibility, and academic excellence through family and community involvement in the development of life-long learners.

Innovations at Furlow Charter School

  • Spanish Language Education K-12:  In our global economy, productive citizens must be culturally informed and functional language skills will make Furlow Charter School students more competitive both in higher education and the workplace.
  • Fine Arts Curriculum K-12:  Research shows that the fine arts promote critical thinking and creative problem solving. 
  • Project-based Learning:  This hands-on approach to education will develop skills of collaboration, deep thinking, and communication.
  • Service Learning:  Service Learning allows students to apply their knowledge in practical settings and to reflect on that experience as it informs their developing expertise
  • Volunteerism and giving back to the community are central to creating real partnerships in a community.
  • Extended Day:  More time on task results in higher academic achievement. 
  • Looping:  In grades K-5, students will “loop” with the same teacher, creating an environment where teachers are keenly aware of students’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Small Classes, K-12 small school environment
  • Parental Commitment to Volunteerism.

Kindezi Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Public Schools)

  • Serving grades K-5
  • 386 Pine Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Kindezi Old Fourth Ward is an expansion of the highly successful Kindezi West Lake School. Kindezi is a Bantu word meaning “holistically schooling other people’s children with love and an eye to the future of our village.” The Kindezi schools create a unique family environment for learning with small classes of just 6-8 students.  

The mission of Kindezi Old Fourth Ward is to prepare learners of diverse backgrounds for civic life as a means of developing servant-leaders of the 21st century. Kindezi O4W is committed to fostering resiliency, cultivating the natural gifts of learners, promoting academic achievement and instilling self-efficacy and self-determination within a nurturing environment. It will offer a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) curriculum — an approach for exposing students to problem-solving. As per steamedu.com, “STEAM is a way to teach how all things relate to each other, in school and in life. 

Macon Charter Academy, Macon, GA (Bibb County Public Schools)

  • Serving grades K-8
  • 151 Madison St, Macon, Georgia 31201

Macon Charter Academy (MCA) intends to become an International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School. IB  programs challenge students to excel in their studies, and encourage both personal and academic achievement.  IB aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. 

The first step towards becoming a World School is applying for candidacy status. By applying for candidacy status, MCA will seek approval to offer two International Baccalaureate (IB) programs consisting of the Primary Years Program for grades K-5 and the Middle Years Program for grades 6-8.  MCA supports the IB’s mission “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

Latin College Prep, Atlanta, GA (Fulton County Schools)

  • Serving grades 6-8 (opening in 2015-2016 with 6th grade)
  • 2626 Hogan Road, East Point, GA 30344

Latin College Preparatory Academy Charter School is the second middle school implementing the Latin Way as part of the Latin Schools Network of “No Excuses” schools. It will open in Fulton County Schools in August of 2015.  As a Latin School, its mission is to prepare each of its students to enter and succeed in college, develop strong character, and live with purpose.

The Latin Way is the core school design that every Latin School is built upon. Though Latin Schools may vary in some of the details of their programming, such as grade levels, extra curricular options, and some cultural elements, every Latin School adheres tightly to the five elements of The Latin Way.

  1. College Purpose
  2. Character Formation
  3. Classic Rigor & Structure
  4. Assertive Leadership
  5. Principled Culture

Latin Grammar School, Atlanta, GA (Fulton County Schools)

  • Serving grades K-5, (opening in 2015-2016 with K and 1st grade)
  • 2626 Hogan Road, East Point, GA 30344

Latin Grammar School is the first primary school in the Latin Schools Network implementing The Latin Way school design.  As a Latin School, the Grammar School’s mission is to prepare each of its students to enter and succeed in college, develop strong character, and live with purpose. In the Latin Schools Network, the path to college truly does begin in Kindergarten.  

Alka Franceschi is the founding Principal of Latin Grammar School, bringing The Latin Way to the primary grade level after serving as the founding Dean of Academics at Latin Academy Charter School in APS.  

THINc College & Career Academy, LaGrange, GA (Troup County Schools)

THINc College & Career Academy is a unique charter high school that shapes students to be “work savvy” when entering the workforce or college. These students are highly desirable to businesses and colleges not only because they’re equipped with technical and career-specific skills, but because they understand the soft skills of business – a firm handshake, a strong work ethic and critical thinking skills.

Located on the LaGrange Campus of West Georgia Technical College, THINc is a partnership between West Georgia Technical College and two private postsecondary institutions (LaGrange College and Point University), Troup County Schools, and the businesses, parents and students in Troup County, Georgia.The program offers multiple learning pathways, and this FAQ helps explain the program.

The THINc academic model is flexible, technology-rich and responsive to students and teachers needs. Authentic workplace curriculum extends learning beyond the traditional classroom. Personalized instruction is incorporated through internships with dual / college credit opportunities available. THINc College & Career Academy graduates are college and career ready, experienced and work-savvy.

Although THINc is geared for high school juniors and seniors, it is not a fourth high school. Career and college-minded students from around the county assemble to take classes and courses only available at THINc.