Opening of new magnet high school in North Fulton to be delayed

A rendering of the Innovation Academy in Alpharetta, to be located at the old Milton High School. FULTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

Fulton County Schools has delayed opening a science and math magnet high school in Alpharetta.

Superintendent Mike Looney announced this week in a message to staff and parents that he will postpone opening the new Innovation Academy. It was initially intended to open in the fall of 2020 and instead will open a year later.

Looney took over as superintendent in June and said he’s been studying the details of the plan to create the science, technology, engineering and math high school.

The STEM-focused academy will serve grades nine through 12 and be housed at the old Milton High School. The district has said that it will serve about 1,500 students at full capacity.

Looney said that he wants more time for his staff to prepare before the school launches.

“Moving forward, I want to ensure that there is a comprehensive educational structure in place before we recruit and place students in this program. If we want students to join a new effort like this, they and their parents deserve a comprehensive and detailed picture of what they will learn as part (of) this experience and how that experience will prepare them for college and a career,” he wrote.

The district will spend next school year working with teachers and developing curriculum. He said construction work will move forward as planned.

In 2020, the Innovation Academy campus will be used as a hub for teacher and staff training. He said the principal of the new school, who has already been named as Tim Duncan, will use the time to work with teachers and do professional development.

A STEM school located in Fairburn on the district's south side also will open during the 2021-2022 school year. That school is expected to serve students in sixth through 12th grades.

In Other News