SuperTalk Mississippi

Mississippi schools begin charter process

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

The process has begun for approving new charter school in the state. So far there have been 16 requests to begin the proposal process according to Grant Callen President of Empower Mississippi who said the numbers are going up as only nine communities applied last year. However, with a highly competitive process, only one charter school was approved in 2017.

Most applicants are new operators. In addition, RePublic Schools, which currently operates two charter schools in Jackson, is looking to open the first charter high school in the state. And two private school operators, the Mississippi Community Education Center, which operates New Summit School, and the Piney Woods School, are hoping to open their first charter school.

“I’m hopeful that more than just one or two will get through,” Callen said. “We need charters in the communities that these folks are looking to start charters. They have to be in D or F rated districts unless you want to get permission from an A, B, or C rated district.”

Charter schools are allowed to open in school districts rated D or F without approval from the local school board.

Callen added that some of the schools want to focus on College Prep, STEM, and others on information and technology.

Below is a list of school that filed a letter of intent:

School School District Grades Served
Ambition Prep Jackson Public Schools K-8
Argie Peters Logan STEM Academy Holmes County School District K-5
Elite Academy Amite County School District K-4
Girls Club and Learning Center Leflore County School District PreK-5
Gordon-Turner College Preparatory Academy Moss Point School District 6-12
Highpoint Academy of Excellence Amite County School District K-8
Innovative Careers and Technologies Academy Jackson Public Schools 9-12
Leflore County Charter School Leflore County School District K-5
Leflore Legacy Academy Leflore County School District 6-8
Memorial Preparatory Vicksburg Warren School District K-12
Mississippi Information & Technology School Jackson Public Schools 5-12
Mound Bayou New Millennial High School North Bolivar School District 7-12
Piney Woods Preparatory School Rankin County School District 5-8
RePublic High School Jackson Public Schools 9-12
Richard Allen Academy School of Excellence Cleveland School District K-8
SR1 College Preparatory and STEM Academy Canton School District K-12
Success Prep Inc Jackson Public Schools K-12

A review of the applications will be held in June and an independent evaluation will be conducted in July. Callen added that after a series of interviews and hearings, the evaluation team will release its recommendations. The Board will then make a final decision on September 10, 2018.

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