ATLANTA - The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) announced that it approved petitions for four new state charter schools to open in the 2019-20 school year. The schools are Ethos Classical, Harriet Tubman School of Science & Tech, The Community Academy for Architecture and Design and Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence.
“Earning approval through the State Charter Schools Commission is not easy. Our staff and commissioners vet petitioner capacity in the areas of academics, finance and operations to ensure that approved schools will be able to provide students with better educational opportunities than they would otherwise be afforded,” said State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia Executive Director Bonnie Holliday. “I commend all of the petitioners for their dedication and hard work. We look forward to working with the newly approved schools in offering high-quality options for the students in their communities.”
Applications for the 2018 petition cycle were submitted to the SCSC in April. The petition review process includes an initial staff review of the petition for general legal compliance and an in-depth panel interview with staff, commissioners and experts in the fields of finance, education, law and policy. Interview panels make recommendations to SCSC commissioners to approve or deny petitions and commissioners vote upon those recommendations. Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the four petitions at the State Charter Schools Commission meeting on July 25, 2018.
The SCSC received 12 petitions in the 2018 petition cycle. Seven petitioners withdrew from consideration to further develop their educational plans and one petition was subsequently approved by a local school district.
Including the new approvals, the SCSC has authorized 35 state charter schools located throughout the state. 29 schools are currently operational and six are scheduled to open in the 2019-2020 school year. More information about the SCSC, current state charter schools and the 2018 petition cycle is available on the SCSC website.
Information About Newly Approved Schools:
Ethos Classical: Ethos Classical will have a defined attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in the city of Atlanta and serve grades K-5. The school plans to offer a classical curriculum with a focus on literacy. “Authorization through the SCSC is a tremendous, and humbling, milestone in bringing our vision for Ethos to reality,” commented Ethos founder Emily White. “We’ve been hard at work with parents and community members for the last 1200 days building momentum for Ethos in order to ensure every single child has access to the highest quality school in their neighborhood. Many, many hands and hearts have rallied to bring Ethos to this day– committed parents, vested community members, and the unwavering support of our founding team. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the SCSC and we are moving forward from with focus and urgency to build Ethos into the school we know our students and families deserve.”
Harriet Tubman School of Science & Tech: Harriet Tubman School of Science & Tech will have a defined attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in the city of Atlanta and serve grades K-5. The school plans to offer a computer science and computational thinking data-driven model to help students develop their skills in computer science and STEM. “The Harriet Tubman Charter School Board is ecstatic to provide such a wonderful opportunity to the children of Atlanta,” said Board Chair Kamaria Finch. “We will be the first elementary computer science school in Georgia and could not be more proud. The HTCS Board fully intends to support our students and families to the fullest. We are thankful to the State Charter Schools Commission and look forward to a thriving, continued partnership.”
The Community Academy for Architecture and Design: The Community Academy for Architecture and Design will have a defined attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in DeKalb County and serve grades K-7. The school plans to offer a project-based learning curriculum with an emphasis on architecture and design.
Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence: Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence will have a statewide attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in Gwinnett County and serve grades K-5. The school plans to offer a Korean and Chinese dual language immersion program. “Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence (YHALE) is excited to provide dual language immersion in two languages that conduct a great deal of business and commerce in the state of Georgia,” said Board Chair Liza Park. “As such, students who become bilingual in these languages can dramatically expand and improve their future prospects and compete in a global marketplace without having to move away from Georgia.”
The SCSC is a state-level, independent charter school authorizing entity. The mission of the SCSC is to improve public education by authorizing high quality charter schools that provide students with better educational opportunities than they would otherwise receive in traditional district schools. The SCSC has the power to approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, non-renew, or terminate state charter school petitions in accordance with Georgia law.