Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) is pleased to announce that DeKalb PATH Academy
has been named GCSA’s 2018 Charter School of the Year.
After meeting GCSA eligibility criteria, DeKalb PATH Academy was selected as the Georgia Charter School of the Year by an independent committee. The committee was comprised of a representative from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, a previous Charter School of the Year winner, The Coca-Cola Company and Atlantic Capital Bank.
“The interview panel was delighted to speak with all of the Charter School of the Year finalists but particularly impressed with the tangible passion of the DeKalb PATH team,” said Cayanna Good, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. “The school’s plan to link the monetary award directly to student academic achievement and their desire to disseminate best practices among other charter and traditional public schools exemplified the overall intent of this prestigious award.”
According to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, DeKalb PATH Academy’s overall performance is better than 69 percent of all Georgia schools. The DeKalb County public charter school consistently “Beats the Odds” and surpasses state and district averages on Georgia’s College and Career Ready Performance Index. “Beating the Odds” illustrates how a school’s performance compares to schools with similar demographics across the state. The state analysis takes characteristics into account such as students with disabilities, the percentage of students by race and ethnicity, English Language Learners, student mobility rate, grade cluster and percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged.
The award is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company. Thanks to the Coca-Cola Company’s generosity, DeKalb PATH Academy will receive $50,000 from GCSA to further their excellent work.
“The Coca-Cola Foundation is pleased to support Georgia Charter Schools Association and innovative schools of excellence like DeKalb PATH Academy,” said Helen Smith Price, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “It is through such partnerships that we are able to make a positive impact on Georgia’s students and the community.”
The 5th through 8th-grade charter school in DeKalb County provides a rigorous, college-preparatory education for DeKalb County students. Approximately percent of the school’s students are children of immigrants from Latin America, primarily Mexico and Central America. DeKalb PATH Academy also has significant numbers of children from other regions, especially Ethiopia and Bangladesh, as well as DeKalb students who do not come from immigrant backgrounds.
“DeKalb PATH Academy is honored to be recognized among such amazing finalists…PATH’s success is attributed to the hard work of our students, staff and parents who commit to meeting our high standards every day- even when it gets hard,” said Crystal Felix-Clake, Principal and CEO of DeKalb PATH Academy. “It is also a reflection of the high standards set among charters and traditional schools alike at DeKalb County Schools as well as in the state of Georgia. We hope to use this platform this year not just to highlight and refine our own successful practices, but to also note that although charter schools work hard to obtain and keep their flexibility – you don’t have to be a charter school to be innovative. Now more than ever, it is imperative that all schools unite and share those best practices that help us succeed with our students.”
The school will be recognized during a special ceremony on Wednesday, March 7, during the 2018 Georgia Charter Schools Conference at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center.
“DeKalb PATH Academy was selected for this award from a group of three amazing finalists, each of whom is worthy of this title based on their merits,” said Tony Roberts, President and CEO of GCSA. “I’m delighted with the committee’s final selection. This is a well-deserved honor for one of Georgia’s most outstanding schools. DeKalb PATH Academy’s commitment to academic excellence, its students and the broader community is well known and deserves to be celebrated. The DeKalb County Public Charter School teaches students to dream big and gives them the tools they need to succeed in college and beyond.”