by Georgia Charter Schools Association
The Georgia Charter Schools Association’s 2nd Annual Leadership Conference named Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School (ANCS), an APS public charter school located in Atlanta’s Grant Park/Ormewood neighborhood, the 2015 GCSA Charter School of the Year.
As the winning school, Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School will receive a $50,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. The highly selective award was established to honor excellence in Georgia’s rapidly growing charter school community. This is the fourth year of this partnership initiative between The Coca-Cola Foundation and the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA).
Atlanta Neighborhood Charter is a K-8 school with two campuses formed by the merger of two successful charter schools — Neighborhood Charter School (NCS) which opened in 2001 and serves K-5 students; and Atlanta Charter Middle School (ACMS) which opened in 2005 and serves 6th-8th grade students.
ANCS is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a network of hundreds of schools around the nation. CES fosters small, personalized learning communities in which teachers and students know each other well in a climate of trust, and high expectations for all.
The charter school’s awareness of community needs and its commitment to collaborate with traditional public schools in APS’s Jackson Cluster was noted by the selection committee. ANCS recently secured a 5-year, $3M grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to support its work on improving math and science teaching and teacher retention.
Matt Underwood, the school’s Executive Director said, “It was such a privilege to be a finalist for this award the past two years against several other terrific schools. We are so appreciative of the GCSA and Coca-Cola for sponsoring this award. Our school has been open for 13 years, and while we are winning this award in 2015, it’s a testament to the hard, thoughtful work of all of our students, teachers, staff, and parents, past and present, who make ANCS such a wonderful school.”
ANCS was among three finalists rated by an independent panel for academic excellence (as measured by standardized achievement tests), and for demonstrating operational sustainability and sound fiscal practices. The other finalists were DeKalb PATH Academy and Mountain Education Charter High School.