Georgia Charter Schools Association wants to congratulate KIPP WAYS Academy for winning the 2017 Charter School of the Year Award. The award is given by Georgia Charter Schools Association but was selected by a committee made up of non-Georgia Charter School Association staff members. 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 Foundation and the community. KIPP WAYS Academy will receive $50,000 thanks to a generous grant award from The Coca-Cola Foundation. The school is led by Dwight Ho-Sang (pictured above middle and below with students).
“Being chosen as the Georgia Charter School of the Year is a great honor for the school and the surrounding community,” said Ho-Sang. “This award is a testament to our collective efforts: the support of our families, our students’ hard work, and the staff and leadership team’s relentless commitment to excellence and the promise of supporting our scholars to and through college.”
KIPP WAYS Academy is a charter middle school located in Northwest Atlanta. The school was Founded in 2003 and serves approximately 330 students in fifth through eighth grades. KIPP WAYS is a part of the national KIPP network of schools, which prepare students for success in college and life.
“I am proud of the KIPP WAYS team & family and excited for them to receive this award from the Georgia Charter Schools Association,” said Kinnari Patel-Smyth, Executive Director of KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools. “This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication of each student, family, and team member.”
A number of KIPP WAYS’ students enter the 5th grade two to three grade levels behind in reading and math, but a balance of rigorous classroom instruction and interventions accelerate learning and achievement and make the school one of the highest performing schools in Atlanta Public Schools. By the time the school’s scholars reach 8th grade, state assessments show they are at or above state averages in all subjects.
KIPP WAYS’ values guide how the school supports its teachers, builds relationships with its families, and fosters a love of learning with its scholars. KIPP WAYS ascribes to a whole-child approach to education, which includes rigorous academics, robust fine arts and athletic program, and a strong focus on developing character and serving the community. Students enter the 5th grade two to three grade levels behind in reading and math, but a balance of rigorous classroom instruction and interventions accelerate learning and achievement and make the school one of the highest performing schools in Atlanta Public Schools. By the time the school’s scholars reach 8th grade, state assessments show they are at or above state averages in all subjects.
Dwight Ho-Sang, School Leader of KIPP WAYS Academy, joined Teach for America in 2002 and began his career in education at Paul L. Dunbar Elementary in Atlanta, GA. After three years teaching in traditional public schools, Dwight joined KIPP WAYS Academy as a Social Studies and English teacher. While teaching, Dwight earned his M.S. in Urban Teacher Leadership from Georgia State University. In 2008, Dwight left the classroom to assume the position of Dean of Instruction at KIPP WAYS Academy. By 2010, he was selected to be principal of KIPP Diamond Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Ho-Sang returned to Atlanta to assume the role of principal of KIPP WAYS in 2011. In 2013, Dwight was the recipient of the Atlanta Families Award for Excellence in Education, which helped to finance his mentoring program; Gentlemen of Distinction, which develops leadership skills and academic focus in the struggling young men at his school. That same year he was selected to LEAD Atlanta. An active member of the community, Dwight serves on the board of the Georgia Children’s Advocacy Network, is a member of Atlanta Beltline Partnership (AB67), as well as a mentor for Odyssey and Greenhouse Scholars.