Three new charter schools are opening in Georgia this fall. In Atlanta Public Schools, KIPP Soul Primary School starts classes on Wednesday, July 25. SLAM Academy of Atlanta, a state-authorized charter school located in the city of Atlanta, is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Aug. 1. International Charter Academy of Georgia, a state-authorized charter school in Peachtree Corners, will welcome students Wednesday, Aug. 8.
KIPP Soul Primary
Authorizer: Atlanta Public Schools
This fall, KIPP Soul Primary will open its doors to 125 Kindergarteners. The school plans to grow by a grade level a year. By the 2022-2023 school year, the school will educate students in grades K-4. KIPP Soul Primary is located in West Atlanta, just a few blocks from KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. The school is open to all students within the attendance zone for Atlanta public schools.
“KIPP Soul Primary School is our ninth and newest school and we are excited to welcome the incoming Kindergarten students and their families,” said Kinnari Patel-Smyth, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools’ Executive Director. “With more than 3,500 students on our waitlist, we are committed to expanding our impact in Atlanta. We know that the path to college starts early and we are honored to partner with KIPP Soul families—and all of our families—on their students’ journey to and through college.”
Georgia Charter Schools Association is excited that more Atlanta families will have the opportunity to enroll their children in a high-quality charter school. GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts appeared before the Atlanta Board of Education last December to advocate for KIPP Soul’s approval.
As part of its vision, KIPP Soul Primary will focus on the development of socially responsible and solutions-oriented leaders. Students at the school will have multiple opportunities to grapple with complex thinking and explore the world around them as they receive rigorous instruction and discourse in literacy, mathematics, the exploration of history, and scientific discovery. The school plans to use data, individualized instruction, open-ended conferencing and restorative justice practices to help students achieve their highest potential and become empowered and creative thinkers.
International Charter Academy of Georgia
Authorizer: State Charter Schools Commission
International Charter Academy of Georgia is a new K-5 Japanese-English dual-language immersion charter school located in Peachtree Corners. The state-authorized charter school will use the Dual Language Model for Japanese and English instruction. Under the model, the school’s younger students will spend a greater percentage of classroom time immersed in Japanese. For instance, the school’s Kindergartners will receive approximately 80 percent of their instruction in Japanese and 20 percent in English. By the time ICA Georgia students reach the third grade, half of their instruction will take place in Japanese and half will be in English. The school plans to teach all core subjects in both languages to enhance academic achievement and to expose students to a wide range of content learning areas in the target language. Additionally, Chinese classes will be offered for one to two 45-minute periods per week.
“This is truly a group effort in which our amazing teachers, staff, and Board of Directors have worked countless hours behind the scenes to make this dream a reality,” said Carrie Woodcock, Principal of ICA Georgia. “I am looking forward to beginning this journey with our community of learners in the only public Japanese dual-immersion school in the state of Georgia.”
Georgia Charter Schools Association is pleased to welcome the state’s first Japanese-English dual-language immersion charter school. Prior to gaining authorizer approval from the State Charter Schools Commission, GCSA reviewed ICA Georgia’s charter petition and provided critical feedback to the school’s founding team.
International Charter Academy of Georgia aims to broaden the horizons of its students so they become global citizens who work to promote peace around the world. ICA Georgia students will be expected to contribute to the local and global community through various service learning projects. The school will also promote parental involvement and will work to foster a school community whose members learn from one another.
SLAM Academy of Atlanta
Authorizer: State Charter Schools Commission
This school year, SLAM Academy of Atlanta will welcome students in Kindergarten through the third grade with plans to expand the school to the seventh grade by the end of its first charter term. The state-authorized charter school plans to integrate sports themes into its curriculum to drive student engagement and make learning meaningful and relevant. For example, students in a science class might examine the effects of a hockey puck or ball on various surfaces to learn about friction. Students in social studies may learn about states by creating a map and labeling the state and affiliated MLB team. Students will also learn to engage in positive competition within the classroom that allows them to experience dealing with success, failure, and teamwork. SLAM Academy is located in the city of Atlanta and is open to students who reside in the Atlanta Public Schools attendance zone.
“By addressing school culture, setting high standards for teacher performance, increased academic expectations for all students and engaging the community our school will effectively support our children,” said Dr. Lonnie White, Superintendent and Principal of SLAM Academy, in a message to Atlanta families on the school’s website. “Moreover, it is our mission at the SLAM Academy of Atlanta to provide an engaging, challenging, and supportive learning environment that will motivate all students to be the best they can be in and out of the classroom and prepare them for future success.”
Georgia Charter Schools Association is excited that Atlanta students will have the opportunity to take advantage of this unique charter school option. Prior to SLAM Academy of Atlanta’s approval, GCSA reviewed the school’s petition and held Georgia landscape, mock interview and governance training sessions with the school’s founding team. Georgia Charter Schools Association will also provide support to SLAM Academy’s governing board during the start of the school year.
SLAM’s research-based educational program is designed to close the achievement gap. The school is partly grounded on the philosophy of the three R’s: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. The school plans to employ rigor in all subject areas by establishing expected student performance from the start. SLAM Academy will use Project-based, learning, real-life problem-solving activities, intellectual gaming platforms, and sports infused lessons that bring relevance into the classroom. The school will create opportunities to foster genuine relationships among students, families, and community mentors to create richer learning communities. Students will also be exposed to STEM-based initiatives both in and outside the classroom.
SLAM Academy of Atlanta is the newest addition to the SLAM family of charter schools. SLAM campuses are currently located in Miami, North Miami Beach, Tampa, West Palm Beach, San Antonio, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada. Grammy award-winning music artist Pitbull supports the charter school model.