On July 25, the State Charter Schools Commission approved four new charter schools: Ethos Classical, Harriet Tubman School of Science and Technology, The Community Academy for Architecture and Design (TCAAD) and Yi Hwang Academy. Three of the approved schools are GCSA incubator schools and the fourth is a GCSA member that received support through the petitioning process. A total of 12 charter applications were submitted to the SCSC during the 2018 petition cycle.
Ethos Classical, Harriet Tubman School of Science and Technology and The Community Academy for Architecture and Design (TCAAD) received state approval after participating in GCSA’s incubator program. GCSA’s charter incubator is a competitive program that recruits top talent to start charter schools; assists and supports school founding teams throughout the entire charter petition process and provides coaching and professional development to school leaders and governing boards during their first two years of operation. Through this crucial program, Georgia Charter Schools Association is working to ensure that more Georgia students of all backgrounds have access to a high-quality public school.
“Georgia Charter Schools Association is grateful the State Charter Schools Commission has given such a strong vote of confidence in our work to support new charter schools,” said Tony Roberts, President and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association. “We believe the addition of these four newly approved schools will provide needed access to public charter schools in the city of Atlanta and other parts of the Atlanta metro area that are in need of high-quality public educational options.”
“I’m excited to see how these schools will change the life trajectories of low-income students and their families,” said Aarti Sharma, Vice President of New School Development for the Georgia Charter Schools Association. “I believe these schools will positively impact and improve the overall educational ecosystem in the city of Atlanta and the metro area.”
Ethos Classical is a high-quality public charter school that will be located in Southwest Atlanta. The future school received unanimous support from NPU-Q and obtained more than 450 signatures from residents in the school’s priority enrollment zip codes. Ethos Classical seeks to prepare Atlanta students for 21st century literacy demands by providing 260 minutes of daily literacy instruction. The school will deliver a classical curriculum through a progressive blended learning model. Ethos Classical also plans to offer a robust arts curriculum, provide family-based special education support and equip students with the factual and problem-solving tools to excel in advanced math studies.
“Today is a tremendous, and humbling, milestone in bringing our vision for Ethos to reality,” said Emily White, Lead Founder of Ethos Classical. “We’ve been hard at work with parents and community members for more than three years building momentum for Ethos in order to ensure every single child has access to the highest quality school in their neighborhood. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the SCSC and we are moving forward from today with focus and urgency to build Ethos into the school we know our students and families deserve.”
Harriet Tubman School of Science and Tech will work to change the lives of economically and educationally disadvantaged students living in Southwest Atlanta. The school will focus on ensuring its students achieve academic success and learn lifelong career skills in technology and computer science. Harriet Tubman School of Science and Technology will open with grades K-3 and plans to add a grade level every year up to the fifth grade.
“Harriet Tubman School of Science and Tech is pleased the State Charter Schools Commission has approved our school, and the board looks forward to continuing a great working relationship with the commission,” said Kamaria Finch, Founder of Harriet Tubman School of Science and Tech. “We are extremely excited to bring a much-needed computer science/coding curriculum to Atlanta’s children in grades K-5! We appreciate all the support the GCSA has given our school through its journey as a member of the GCSA school Incubator.”
The Community Academy for Architecture and Design (TCAAD) will open in DeKalb County for students in grades K-3 and plans to add a grade level per year through middle school. TCAAD will prioritize math and literacy for educationally disadvantaged students through a community and project-based learning curriculum. Students will experience and gain exposure to architecture and design thinking in all content areas, including reading, math science and social studies.
Yi Hwang Academy will be located in Gwinnett County with a statewide attendance zone. During its first year, Yi Hwang Academy plans offer dual immersion in Korean and English and add Chinese and English immersion during the following year. The Academy’s mission is to produce students who can fluently speak in English, Chinese and Korean.
“A thank you to GCSA. Three of the four schools approved today were GCSA incubator schools,” said Bonnie Holliday, Executive Director of the State Charter Schools Commission, following the SCSC approvals. “…We look forward to that continued partnership and receiving more great schools from the incubator going forward.”
According to Holliday, the four charter petitions approved by the SCSC during the 2018 application cycle were submitted by governing boards possessing in-depth educational, financial, and operational expertise.
Following the approval, several of the founding team members of the approved schools celebrated by attending a special luncheon with GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts and GCSA staff members at a nearby restaurant. Ed Chang with redefinED, a key GCSA partner, was among those at the luncheon (see picture above). redefinEd has generously provided scholarships for several incubator participants in the current cohort of the GCSA charter school incubator.