Hundreds attended Charter Schools Rock at Atlantic Station on Sunday;
Gov. Deal signed Charter Schools Week proclamation on Monday;
Barge to visit south Georgia charter on Thursday; Brighten to host Charter First Friday event
ATLANTA – A celebration of Georgia’s charter schools at Atlantic Station’s Central Park, drew hundreds of onlookers Sunday, and today, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a proclamation dubbing this week Charter Schools Week in Georgia.
Later this week, State Schools Superintendent John Barge will visit a south Georgia charter school and a Douglasville charter school will host a “Charter First Friday” event.
Atlantic Station event, proclamation signing by Gov. Deal celebrate charters
The two events kicked off National Charter Schools Week (May 1-7), a celebration and acknowledgement of the accomplishments of quality charter schools across the nation. “Charter Schools Rock” was a free event coordinated and sponsored by the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) and the Georgia Parent Advocacy Network (G-PAN) that drew hundreds to Atlantic Station on Sunday.
Monday morning, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a proclamation officially declaring the week as “Charter Schools Week in Georgia.” Gov. Deal said “Charter schools throughout Georgia are providing their communities with quality choices in public education,” and are “vehicles of innovation” that are helping “prepare our next generation of leaders.”
After signing the proclamation, Gov. Deal posed for pictures with students from Amana Charter Academy (approved by Fulton County School Board in 2005) in Roswell, The Kindezi School (approved by Atlanta Public Schools in 2010) in Atlanta, The Museum School of Avondale Estates (approved by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission in 2010) and Peachtree Hope Charter School (approved by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission in 2010) in East Atlanta.
The popularity and demand for charter schools in the state has risen sharply over the last few years. The number of charter schools in Georgia has risen from less than 40 just six years ago, to 170 schools serving over 65,000 students.
More events to come this week highlighting charter schools
History will be made Thursday (May 5) when Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge visits rural Georgia’s first independent charter school, Pataula Charter Academy in Edison, about 40 miles west of Albany. Barge will tour the school which opened last fall and serves about 300 students in grades pre-K through sixth, from Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Early or Randolph County. The tour will begin at noon.
Then on Friday, May 6, Brighten Academy in Douglasville will host a “Charter First Friday” open house (8-10 a.m.). “Charter First Friday” is a national initiative calling attention to top charter schools around the country. Every first Friday of the month, states highlight an outstanding charter school by hosting an open house at the school. Brighten, now in its fifth year, serves 350 students in grades kindergarten through eight. It is Douglas County’s lone charter school and is the state’s only charter school started by teachers.
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ABOUT THE GCSA
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is the only non-profit membership organization for Georgia’s charter school operators and petitioners. Established in 2001, the mission of the GCSA is to be an effective advocate and service provider for all charter public schools in Georgia by:
- Advancing awareness of charter schools and their mission.
- Increasing awareness that charter schools are public schools.
- Communicating charter school needs to state and local officials.
- Supporting legislation to strengthen charter schools in Georgia.
- Facilitating opportunities for networking/collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and nationwide.
- Developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability and success in all of Georgia’s charter schools.