Brookhaven, GA, May 13 – In 2013, the city allocated $30,000 of the budget to fund education initiatives. Those initiatives included a feasibility study for a City of Brookhaven school system, looking into education improvements and opportunities at Cross Keys High School and the submission of a Charter School petition to both DeKalb County and the State of Georgia.
The charter school petition must be submitted by end of business on Thursday, May 15th, to both the county and to the state. Upon receipt, both bodies will review the application and initiate the vetting process.
The name of the proposed independent charter school is Brookhaven Innovation Academy. A non-profit 501-c-3 corporation has also been created with the same name. Current and future city council members will be on the schools governing board and will hold power to intervene and redirect should the performance of the school become less than expected by Brookhaven citizens.
If the charter petition is approved, the school aims to begin operations in August of 2015. Year one, the school would be kindergarten through sixth grade and have 420 (plus virtual) students. Each year following, the school would add a grade until K-12 is achieved at the five year mark and a projected full enrollment of 1,300 students (plus virtual). There is also an option to add one additional year for graduate school training and a career track program.
While no location for the school has been announced, the city leaders say there are many options for both physical and virtual learning centers.
The city states the cost for the school will be completely funded by existing state tax revenue. Unless the Mayor and Council offer financial assistance voluntarily, Brookhaven citizens will not be financially obligated for the schools operations.
The Brookhaven City Council heard a presentation Tuesday by Gareth Genner, CEO of Edevate, an educational consulting firm that has been retained by the city to investigate a range of educational products.
Edevate explains the mission of the Brookhaven Innovation Academy: “Provide students with the resources, knowledge and skills required to access, organize, and apply the global sources of information while making learning magical and relevant for every student.
Brookhaven Innovation Academy will offer a student-centered learning environment implementing a combination of STEM focused, project-based and blended learning curricula. Students will develop projects, learn to problem solve and document their findings before presenting their learning to peers and community. Digital portfolios evidencing both achievements and competency will supplement traditional examinations and tests.
With the assistance of Blended Learning resources and a dedicated Student Success Team, BIA will provide each student with a personalized learning plan including additional resources to be deployed to support and / or enrich the base curriculum for that student. Regardless of the cognitive ability and learning challenges / style of an individual student, BIA will chart a path for the student to be successful in the maximization of their gifts and the pursuit of their interests.
In addition to State mandated assessments and student portfolios, BIA will track the cognitive ability and performance of each student utilizing a Value Added Assessment Scorecard. The Scorecard will provide a comparison of the student’s performance versus ability over time and provide parents and administrators with full transparency as to the value being added by the school. BIA students will make 1.5 years of academic progress for each school-year spent at BIA.”
More information can be found by watching the video of the presentation by Edevate enclosed in this post, by reviewing the documents below and by viewing the explanation by City Councilman Bates Mattison also included in this post or by signing up for updates on the Brookhaven Innovation Academy website here.