As I reported here a few weeks ago, strange events were occurring at Peachtree Hope Charter School, which fired its management company June 3, yet failed to disclose that critical fact when it sought local approval by the DeKalb school board.
(Along with management, Minnesota-based Sabis International Schools Network provided Peachtree Hope with its curriculum.)
Now, the school has missed vital deadlines to become a DeKalb charter school or a state charter school, leaving 600 kids in limbo.
The successful all-girl charter school in Gwinnett is applying to the state to take over the Peachtree Hope site where it could realize its dream of boys and girls academies in DeKalb. The DeKalb board nixed the idea last week when Ivy Prep presented charter applications for two such schools. The review committee deemed the Ivy Prep applications incomplete and preliminary and cited several problems, most notably a lack of definite sites or facilities for the new schools.
Taking over Peachtree Hope would solve the location question. The school operated for one year in a Memorial Drive shopping center.
Ivy Preparatory Academy, an all-girls school in Gwinnett, has applied for a state charter to open a new branch in DeKalb — with the hope of opening soon after the new school year begins.
If Ivy Prep gets the charter, it will move into the Memorial Drive building that Peachtree Hope Charter School occupied, an official with Ivy Prep confirmed. Ivy Prep would divide the building in two, creating one school for girls and another for boys, the school official, Nina Gilbert, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday.
Gilbert, who is the head of school, or principal, didn’t want to say much else because the state charter application is pending. “We don’t want to be presumptuous,” Gilbert said. “We have to work with the Department of Education to make sure this could be a seamless transition.”
The state Education Department confirmed receipt of the application. It’s not on the Aug. 10 state Board of Education agenda yet, Louis Erste, the Georgia charter schools division director, said Friday. But “we are expediting our review and hope to have completed it by the end of next week. It is looking good so far.”
Gilbert, the Ivy Prep principal, said she has a letter of intent with the building owner to move into the space. The new school’s primary mission would be to serve the 200 girls who live in DeKalb and commute to Ivy Prep’s Gwinnett campus, she said. She doesn’t know how many other seats would be available, but “we want to give the Peachtree Hope families priority,” she said.
I just looked at Peachtree Hope’s CRCT scores, which are not as strong as Ivy Prep’s. I have to caution that this was the school’s first year and that it had many kids who were behind already.
Test results for third grade show that 40 percent of students failed math. In social studies, 47 percent failed. In science, 53.3 percent failed, while 29.7 failed reading. The school’s best scores were in language arts, where only 23 failed and 21.6 percent exceeded.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog