Georgia families will soon have more high-quality public school options thanks to a vote by the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia. On Wednesday, July 27, the SCSC approved two public charter schools participating in the Georgia Charter Schools Association’s Incubator Program, a competitive and rigorous, year-long training process that recruits and trains top talent to start public charter schools in Georgia. The SCSC approved start-up charter school petitions for Sankofa Montessori and The Anchor School from a group of only three potential schools under consideration for the 2023-2024 school year.
The SCSC vote marks the fourth year in a row that the State Charter Schools Commission approved the majority of GCSA’s Charter Incubator candidates.
“We’re grateful for the confidence the State Charter Schools Commission continues to place in the ability of GCSA Incubator candidates to open and sustain successful schools,” said Tony Roberts, President and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association. “As a result of these approvals, Georgia students in Henry, Clayton, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties, and the city of Atlanta, will soon have access to two new public charter schools that will work to meet their individual needs and prepare them for a successful future.”
“I am truly excited for the students and families who will benefit from the impact that The Anchor School and Sankofa Montessori will have in their classrooms and communities,” said Gregg Stevens, Vice President of New School Development for the Georgia Charter Schools Association.
Through a culturally responsive, child and family-centered Montessori education, Sankofa Montessori ensures that its students will have the space to develop the knowledge, skills, and agency to have a life of purpose. Founders of Sankofa Montessori are energized to embark on the journey to actualize the mission of Sankofa Montessori alongside the school’s community and can’t wait to open in August of 2023.
“We are so very humbled and excited by the State Charter Schools Commission’s decision to approve Sankofa Montessori. Sankofa Montessori is grateful for the support of the GCSA throughout the petition process,” said Sarah Harvey, Founder of Sankofa Montessori. “Through coaching, governance, facilities, and development support, GCSA ensured that the Sankofa Montessori team was able to write and successfully defend our charter application. We continue to be grateful for the GCSA’s ongoing support.”
Sankofa Montessori plans to serve students in grades K-2 during its first year of operation and add a grade level each year until the school enrolls students through the sixth grade. The public charter school will utilize a statewide attendance zone and expects to draw the majority of its students from Clayton County, Fulton County, the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and Henry County.
The Anchor School
The mission of The Anchor School (TAS) is to be a village of families, educators, and community members that partners with 6th through 12th grade students who are developing the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to thrive in school and beyond. TAS is planning to open with 6th grade in August of 2023. The tuition-free public charter school plans to grow by one grade level per year, expanding over time to become a middle and high school. Utilizing design-thinking principles to include families and community members in the school design, TAS developed a cohesive and innovative school model that will support holistic adolescent development through strategic partnerships with families and community organizations, while delivering an excellent education through project-based learning.
“The Anchor School was fortunate to have the support of GCSA during the school design process,” said Josh Pinto Taylor, a founding member of the school and GCSA Incubator Fellow. “The incubator program offered our team individualized coaching, professional development, and ongoing support. Our founding team will continue to look to GCSA for support as we collaborate with the SCSC to open our doors in the fall of 2023.”
The Anchor School received approval for a statewide attendance zone but anticipates that students from DeKalb County, Fulton County, Clayton County, Cobb County, and the city of Atlanta will reflect the majority of its student population.