Longtime Get Schooled readers remember Patti Ghezzi, the originator of this blog and a wonderful colleague of mine for many years. Patti is still working on education issues and has been involved with one of the seven charter school applicants approved this week by the state.
Here is a release by Patti on the new charter school coming to Avondale Estates.
The Georgia Charter Schools Commission approved Monday a public charter school to serve Avondale Estates and surrounding communities.
The Museum School of Avondale Estates will open in August 2010 for children in kindergarten through third grade who live in the Avondale Elementary and Midway Elementary school attendance zones. The school will expand by one grade each year through eighth grade.
Open houses will be held Tuesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. and January 28 at 10:00 a.m. at Avondale Estates City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates. A third open house will be held in January at a date and location to be announced later. Katherine Kelbaugh, the incoming Head of School, will discuss curriculum. Members of the school’s executive committee will be available to answer questions.
Student enrollment will take place February 1 through 15. Applications will be available at each open house or may be picked up at Avondale Estates City Hall.
Charter schools are funded with tax dollars but operate independent of the local school district, held accountable by terms spelled out in a state-approved charter. Parents and community members have been working for a year and a half to bring a charter school to Avondale Estates and neighboring areas. Word of the state’s approval spread quickly, sparking community-wide celebrations, especially among parents of young children who will be among the school’s first students.
“This school is the product of a community-wide effort,” said Dr. Alexandra Webb, chair of The Museum School’s Executive Committee. “We owe our success to the countless volunteers who contributed their time and expertise to this endeavor. We are so proud to provide our community with a school that is innovative, yet research-based and data-driven in its design and operations.”
The Museum School of Avondale Estates was begun by the Avondale Education Association with a goal of creating an innovative public school for grades K-8 built on academic achievement and strong community involvement. The museum concept is a proven school model that provides project-based learning through partnerships with museums and other community organizations. Students learn collaboratively by engaging in real-world projects and mentorships with these experts.
“The Museum School’s interactive model is sure to meet the varied needs of all students,” said Katherine Kelbaugh, the head of school. “We are honored to offer our community a public school of choice that is based on individual learning styles and project-based learning, and we’re eager to provide our students with a rigorous, hands-on curriculum within a neighborhood, community school.”
In recommending The Museum School for charter approval last week, a panel from the Georgia Dept. of Education wrote that the school’s organizers, “demonstrated strong leadership and governance capacity.” The panel, “was impressed by the level of detail and the amount of time that the petitioning group has contributed,” and wrote that the school’s governing board, “appears to have diverse expertise in the areas of education, business, marketing, finance and facilities.”
School organizers are finalizing plans for the school’s facility and staff recruitment. Applicants for staff positions should email a resume and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org.