APS votes to non-renew Intown Academy charter school

The Atlanta school board voted unanimously to not renew a charter school’s contract at the end of this school year largely because of the school’s academic performance.

Unless Intown Academy can get the state to sponsor the school, Intown will close at the end of this school year—And about 360 students in grades K-8 will need to find new schools next year. Many of those students live in the Hope-Hill Elementary School and Inman Middle School attendance zones, Intown officials said.

Intown Academy leaders and supporters disputed the reasons for non-renewal, saying the school's performance had improved recently.

Natasha Hart has three children at Intown. She said her children have grown with the school in recent years.

“We’ve also gained a viable organization of motivated people who have become an extended family,” she said. “The Intown Academy charter program has been a triumph for us.”

The school’s 2013 College and Career Ready Performance Index score is below APS as a whole. But in 2013 the school met 89 percent of district student growth requirements, according to board records.

“I understand that we’ve been struggling academically, but we’ve been methodical in making adjustments,” Intown Principal Gene Dunn said.

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