We believe all students deserve an excellent educational opportunity regardless of their background.
Who We Are?
At the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA), we believe that all students deserve an excellent educational opportunity regardless of their background. Given this fundamental belief, GCSA developed its charter school incubator program, which works to address Georgia’s educational needs by:
- Identifying and recruiting top-tier educators’ talent to design and start charter schools in Georgia;
- Training and supporting committed educators throughout the charter petition process and in their quest to provide a high-quality educational opportunity for students;
- Coaching and developing school leaders (and their governing boards) through the development of a public charter school including charter school operations, excellent school visits, and governance training.
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is designed to provide an intentional pathway to school leadership and design through coaching, training, and implementation support. GCSA has a 100% petition approval for the last three years. With the knowledge and experience of forming schools, we collaborate with fellows to prepare them for envisioning a strong educational option for students and laying the groundwork for these visions to manifest by helping to navigate the charter petition process.
We are looking for mission-oriented candidates for our 2021 incubator program who seek to serve a high need, low income community in either an urban or rural community in Georgia. Interested candidates can either apply as an individual or a team to create a charter school. If applying as a team, the team will be expected to serve as the founding governing board of the school. If selected, the Incubator will collaborate with candidates over a year to adequately prepare boards for charter petition approval.
The most recent KidsCount data shows a child’s opportunities for success should not be determined by his or her zip code. With a great education, students from low-income communities can attend great universities. Students from any background can learn when given the right tools.
Atlanta students deserve better.
- Less than one in four students in Atlanta is statistically expected to graduate from college.
- In fact, 44 of Atlanta’s 73 public schools were considered for state takeover just last year.2
Seventy percent of students in Atlanta graduate from high school, but only fourteen percent of students in Atlanta Public Schools will ever earn a college degree.3
What We Offer?
Over the course of the fellowship, we provide GCSA fellows with:
- Support in developing a comprehensive school design plan
- Ongoing and structured support via in-person and virtual meetings conducted by leading experts; Candidates will be required to attend 10 in-person meetings focusing on various aspects of the petition process between July and December
- Direct reviews and feedback on the petition and crucial next steps needed to gain approval through the petition process
- Access to subject experts through personalized coaching, consultations, and group debriefs
- Budget support and feedback from a GCSA partner selected to handle back office services
- A cohort and community of like-minded educators who want to maximize their impact by founding charter schools in Georgia
- Candidates who are located in the Atlanta-area, have an identified school leader, and are interested in devoting themselves full-time to developing their charter application and board may be eligible for a $75,000 stipend.
What Happens Post-Approval?
Post-charter approval, GCSA will continue to support incubator schools through ongoing leadership support and board training. This support will take the form of conducting an operational assessment, attending board meetings, and twice a month leadership team coaching. GCSA will also assist incubator participants in applying for grants, including the Walton Family Foundation and Charter Schools Program grants.
What is GCSA Looking For? Who Should Apply?
This fellowship is open to nationwide candidates interested in opening a charter school within the state of Georgia. We are seeking individuals with deep school-based experiences. If a governing team is applying, they must represent a diverse skillset and knowledge to guide them throughout the charter process (school leadership, organizational management, education, law, finance, realty, etc.). Each individual or team will be assessed in the following areas throughout the interview process:
- A deep belief that all students deserve access to an excellent education regardless of his or her background. The right candidates will be committed to expanding opportunities for students in low-income communities. Their approaches are grounded in a deep knowledge of the systemic challenges, unwavering conviction, and dedication to ensuring that every student has an environment where they can thrive
- Have entrepreneurial acumen
- Can invest and inspire others towards a common goal
- Have a track record of strong professional achievement
- Candidates applying as individuals should have school leadership experience at the coach level (or other comparable title) or above. If applying as a team/founding governing board, a member of the group must come with comparable school leadership experience.
- A fierce dedication to students and the charter school approval process
In order to be eligible for the 2021 GCSA Fellowship, candidates must apply by one of the three deadlines:
- First deadline (early decision): January 4, 2021
- Second deadline: March 30, 2021
- Final deadline: May 30, 2021
To learn more, connect directly with Aarti Sharma, VP of New School Development: https://calendly.com/asharma-5/prospect-meeting
1National Center for Children in Poverty
2Eric Stirgus, Georgia Schools that Could Fall Under State Control, Atl. Jnl. And Const., Feb. 12, 2015