Washington enrolled 679 students as of October.
“The staff members always put students first, the students are hard-working, and the parents are supportive, friendly, and caring. I feel very fortunate to have been part of such a wonderful community dedicated to ensuring the success of our scholars,” Wilson wrote.
Atlanta Public Schools will give her a year to plan for the academy’s opening. She will use the 2019-2020 school year to hire employees, recruit students, design the program and build partnerships with groups to support the new academy.
It’s “critical” to spend that year in planning since APS is attempting to do something it hasn’t done before with the academy, said district spokesman Ian Smith, in a written statement.
The academy is expected to serve about 800 students, who will go there for morning or afternoon classes while continuing to take other courses at their home high school.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Superintendent Maria Carstarphen says despite their success, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done
The district’s decision to open the academy was motivated in part by an increased emphasis on college and career training, which is reflected in the report card score the state gives APS and other districts.
Launching the academy isn't the only way APS is reshaping high school programs. In March, the school board is expected to vote on a recommendation to close Crim Open Campus High School. The closure is part of a plan to consolidate the district's alternative education programs that give high schoolers another option instead of dropping out.
Wilson has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas State University and a doctorate in education from the University of Memphis, according to APS personnel documents.
With her departure, the Atlanta district will need to hire two new high school principals for next school year. Mays High School Principal Richard Fowler announced in December he was leaving the school. He has been principal since 2014.