From architecture to Korean and Chinese language immersion, four new charter schools approved by the State Charter Schools Commission reflect a range of focuses.
Located in metro Atlanta, the schools are Ethos Classical and Harriet Tubman School of Science & Tech in Atlanta, Community Academy for Architecture and Design in DeKalb, and Yi Hwang Academy of Language Excellence in Gwinnett.
They will open in the 2019-20 school year.
Charter schools operate independently with public funding and must meet performance benchmarks to continue to operate. Most charters in Georgia are approved by local boards of education, but the commission can also authorize schools.
In a statement, Bonnie Holliday, the commission’s executive director, said: “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. 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.”
All told, the State Charter Schools Commission has authorized 35 schools, 29 of which are operating and six of which open next year.
Here is commission-provided Information about the four recent schools it approved:
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 Language Excellence 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."