ATLANTA, GA (statewide) – Sept. 8, 2022 – Thousands of additional Georgia students will soon have the opportunity to attend a high-quality public charter school. The Georgia Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative announced the launch of two programs to support the expansion, replication, or creation of additional public charter schools. The Replication and Expansion Cohort program provides resources to existing, high-quality charter schools, and the New School Leader Fellowship facilitates the successful launch of new charter schools. A total of nine schools were selected for both programs.
Six public charter schools were competitively selected for a rigorous, year-long Replication and Expansion Cohort program that will provide them with the support, guidance, and resources to successfully bring their high-quality educational models to other parts of the state or expand their existing campuses. Atlanta Classical Academy, D.E.L.T.A. STEAM Academy, Du Bois Integrity Academy, The Museum School of Avondale Estates, Tybee Island Maritime Academy, and Utopian Academy for the Arts were chosen as participants in the first-ever Replication and Expansion Cohort program of the Georgia Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative. The program will assist schools with achieving their short and long-term growth objectives with the ultimate goal of serving more Georgia children.
As a part of the Replication and Expansion Cohort program, participating schools will receive technical assistance on facilities, finance, charter petition creation and plan implementation support from the Georgia Charter Schools Association’s Facility Resource Center and Incubator Program. In addition, Bellwether will provide long-range planning guidance and support for scaling school operations, including a visit to other successful charter schools that have experienced growth. Schools participating in the cohort will be eligible for grants up to $300,000 to carry out their plans for expansion or replication.
Three leaders from approved new charter schools were selected for the inaugural cohort of the New School Leader Fellowship program. School leaders from Miles Ahead Charter School, Sankofa Montessori, and The Anchor School will participate in a cohort-style technical assistance program offered by Lead with Excellence, a nonprofit organization established to support new charter school leaders. Through the program, these leaders will establish leadership and organizational structures for their schools to ensure student achievement, strong operations, and community engagement. In addition, participants will receive a $100,000 stipend, and their schools will be eligible for up to $300,000 in grant funds to assist with opening activities. The three schools are slated to open in Fall 2023.
Participants in each program were selected through a competitive process by representatives of the Charter Growth Initiative. To be eligible for participation in the Replication and Expansion Cohort, schools must operate at least one existing charter school in Georgia and remain in good standing with their charter school authorizer. To be eligible for participation in New School Leader Fellowship Program, schools must have an approved charter contract to open in Fall 2023 and remain in good standing with their charter school authorizer. Schools were selected based on criteria that included responsiveness to community need, growth mindset, commitment to the program, and readiness for replication or expansion or school opening.
The Georgia Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative was made possible by a $4.1 million grant awarded by the Office of Governor Brian Kemp as part of the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II). Under the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER Fund), the U.S. Department of Education (Department) awards grants to Governors for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other education-related entities with emergency assistance as a result of COVID-19.The initiative is a partnership between the State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia, the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia, and the Georgia Charter Schools Association. The initiative will provide technical assistance and grants to support the creation or expansion of ten charter schools by September 2023. In addition, the initiative will offer public information sessions and a new dedicated website to allow Georgians to learn more about public charter schools and their public charter school options.
Georgia Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative Partners
About the State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia
The State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia (SCSF) is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting high-quality state charter schools serving children throughout Georgia by leveraging resources to help schools launch, build capacity, and grow. For more information about the State Charter Schools Foundation, visit scsfga.org or follow us on social media @SCSFofGA. The SCSF is the charitable foundation for the State Charter Schools Commission.
About the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia
The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) is Georgia’s state-level, independent charter school authorizing board that seeks to improve public education throughout the state by authorizing high-quality charter schools that provide students with better educational opportunities than they would otherwise receive in traditional district schools. Learn more online at scsc.georgia.gov.
About the Georgia Charter Schools Association
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is a nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s public charter schools and petitioners. Our mission is to support, foster and advocate for the development of high-quality public charter schools and networks that improve opportunities for Georgia students. We believe every child in Georgia should have equal access to a quality and transformative public education. Learn more online at gacharters.org.
Atlanta Classical Academy
Atlanta Classical Academy opened in 2014 and expanded its reach to Northwest Classical Academy in 2021. The schools provide a rigorous, classical, Great Books curriculum in a K-12, small school environment. Atlanta Classical Academy will continue to expand its reach through the Georgia Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative with the goal of opening its next location in the greater Rome community with additional locations around the state within the next five years.
D.E.L.T.A. STEAM Academy
D.E.L.T.A. STEAM Academy is serving students in Douglas County and the surrounding area in grades K-5 and is growing to serve students through 8th grade under its current charter. D.E.L.T.A. STEAM implements a STEAM, project-based learning curriculum with an emphasis on character development that equips students with critical and creative thinking skills. D.E.L.T.A. STEAM plans to expand into high school for its students by Fall 2025.
Du Bois Integrity Academy
Du Bois Integrity Academy provides a rigorous academic elementary and middle school for students residing in Clayton County. Du Bois Integrity Academy opened its Elementary School in 2015, and quickly established its commitment to academic excellence as it grew to serve middle school students. The school intends to replicate its model to serve students in one of Georgia’s high-need communities.
Miles Ahead Charter School
Miles Ahead Charter School is focused on student growth and academic achievement through a whole-child approach to education. Miles Ahead Charter School will deliver academic instruction with a commitment to student growth and achievement, a purpose-driven environment, and community to make the learning experience a positive one for all students. Miles Ahead Charter School is scheduled to open in Fall 2023 in Cobb County and will serve grades K-5 when fully enrolled.
The Museum School of Avondale Estates
The Museum School of Avondale Estates has developed and implemented the museum model – an approach to education based on the idea that children learn best through personal exploration and hands-on experience. The Museum School of Avondale Estates opened in 2010, and serves students in DeKalb County in grades K-8. Through the Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative, the Museum School of Avondale Estates will develop a strategic action plan to expand its current campus or replicate its model in one of Georgia’s high-need communities.
Sankofa Montessori will provide families and students a culturally-responsive, child and family-centered Montessori education. Sankofa Montessori will implement a child-centered approach to instruction that allows each child’s own interests to guide learning in multi-age groupings and classrooms that reinforce student interest and learning. Sankofa Montessori is scheduled to open in Fall 2023 in Clayton County and will serve grades K-6 when fully enrolled.
The Anchor School will deliver rigorous academic instruction that reinforces holistic adolescent development and creates long-term community impact. The Anchor School “cultivates anchors” that build a more just and equitable future. The Anchor School will serve as an anchor institution in the larger community by offering a myriad of educational and support programs that create a hub for the development of culture, learning, and innovation. The Anchor School is scheduled to open in Fall 2023 in Clayton County and will serve grades 6-12 when fully enrolled.
Tybee Island Maritime Academy integrates its local environment with curriculum and instructional methods to enhance student learning. Using projects aligned to the local topography, community, and economy with a balance of self-direction and teacher-led cross-curricular instruction, Tybee Island Maritime Academy provides students in Savannah-Chatham County in grades K-8 a deep sense of mastery across academics, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. Tybee Island Maritime Academy will develop and implement a plan to replicate its model to integrate the local environment and community in a high-need coastal community through the Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative.
Utopian Academy for the Arts provides students in Clayton County access to a network of elementary, middle, and high schools that provides students a structured and supportive environment committed to academic rigor and the artistic development of its students. Through the Strategic Charter School Growth Initiative, the Utopian Academy for the Arts will replicate its art-focused model in a high-need community.