State Charter Schools Commission Renews Six State Charter Schools
Renewals were granted for six state charter schools following a petition and interview process.
ATLANTA, GA - The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) approved renewal petitions for six state charter schools at its February board meeting. Commissioners affirmed staff recommendations to renew Brookhaven Innovation Academy, Cirrus Academy Charter School, Georgia Connections Academy, Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood, Southwest Georgia STEM Charter School and Statesboro STEAM Academy.
“Congratulations to these six schools for earning a renewed charter term,” said State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia Chairman Buzz Brockway. “We’re excited to support the continued operation and growth of high-quality charter schools as Georgia students and families increasingly seek choices in education.”
These six state charter schools’ current charter term expires on June 30, 2022. Each school submitted a petition for renewal in late 2021. SCSC commissioners and staff then conducted in-depth capacity interviews with the respective schools’ board members and administrators. The interview panels made recommendations to the full SCSC board to approve or deny each school's renewal based on their application, interview and performance track record as measured by the SCSC Comprehensive Performance Framework (CPF), which measures whether the school is fulfilling the SCSC mission of providing students with a better educational opportunity than they would otherwise receive in traditional district schools. The SCSC board of commissioners voted to approve the six renewal recommendations at the State Charter Schools Commission Board Meeting on February 23, 2022.
“Charter schools operate on performance contracts and must outperform their comparison schools to earn a five-year charter renewal,” said State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia Executive Director Lauren Holcomb. “We hold schools to high standards of accountability to ensure that students are receiving a better educational opportunity.”
Two schools, in addition to receiving five-year renewals, were authorized to expand their student populations. Georgia Connections Academy, a statewide virtual school, will expand from grades 4-12 to K-12. Statesboro STEAM Academy will also expand from grades 6-12 to K-12. "To receive a charter renewal in our twentieth year of operation is very special to us. It exemplifies the confidence the SCSC has in our ability to provide a high-quality education to students in Georgia, particularly Statesboro. Our STEAM-based blended learning program is changing lives and creating the next generation of leaders in our community. We are excited to continue redefining teaching and learning while making it fun!” said Statesboro STEAM Academy Superintendent Corliss Reese.
Additionally, Brookhaven Innovation Academy received a five-year renewal; Ivy Preparatory Academy earned a three-year renewal with the possibility of a two-year extension if certain financial requirements are met; Southwest Georgia STEM earned a three-year renewal and will expand its grade range from K-10 to K-12; and Cirrus Academy Charter School earned a two-year renewal.
More information about the SCSC’s 2022 renewal process is available on the SCSC website.
Information About Renewed Schools:
Brookhaven Innovation Academy (BIA): BIA has a statewide attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in Norcross, serving grades K-8. The school’s educational model focuses on personalized learning, project-based learning, and instruction in coding as early as Kindergarten.
Cirrus Academy Charter School: Cirrus Academy has a statewide attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in Bibb County, serving grades K-8. Cirrus Academy utilizes an integrated, hands-on curriculum based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).
Georgia Connections Academy: Georgia Connections Academy has a state-wide attendance zone and serves students in an exclusively virtual setting. This school’s grade range will expand from 4-12 to K-12. Georgia Connections Academy’s educational mission is to exemplify a collaborative virtual school where students meet high expectations through mastery of challenging academic material in preparation for successful college and career experiences.
Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood: Ivy Preparatory Academy has an attendance zone of DeKalb County and the Atlanta Public Schools District, with a brick-and-mortar location in Atlanta, serving grades K-8. The school’s educational plan involves a single-gender focus, STREAM curriculum (STEAM + Reading and writing), promoting 21st-century skills including collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
Southwest Georgia STEM Charter School: Southwest Georgia STEM Charter has a statewide attendance zone with a brick-and-mortar location in Randolph County. This school’s grades served will expand from K-10 to K-12. The school’s educational model utilizes a STEM curriculum with a project-based, hands-on approach, as well as Place-Based Education and partnerships with local agricultural and forestry-related parties.
Statesboro STEAM Academy: Statesboro STEAM Academy serves grades 6-12 in a brick-and-mortar location in Statesboro, Georgia. This school’s educational model uses a STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to give students the tools necessary to compete in the world and be ready for a career field that accentuates their individual talents.
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.