Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heron Bay Academy to Submit Petition to Georgia Charter School Commission

New commission critical to state’s efforts to provide high quality schools

Heron Bay Academy will be among the first schools to submit a petition to the newly founded Georgia Charter School Commission. The charter application will be submitted on August 1, 2009, with an answer expected by December 2009. The Georgia Charter School Commission was created by House Bill 881 in May 2008 due the high number of charter school petitions that have been denied by local school boards.

The General Assembly found in House Bill 881 that charter schools were a critical component to the state of Georgia’s efforts to provide efficient and high-quality schools within the state’s uniform system of public education. The Assembly also found that charter schools in the state have contributed to enhanced student performance while empowering parents to best fit the individual needs of their children.

A recent analysis of the state's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) data indicated that charter schools in Georgia, particularly those that are started independently from school districts, are performing better than traditional public schools.

“Charter Public Schools provide students with quality options in public K-12 education so they many find the best setting to become productive members of our community,” said Andrew Lewis, chief programming officer with The Georgia Charter Schools Association.

Heron Bay Academy is to be built on the grounds of Heron Bay Golf and Country Club, a master-planned community in Locust Grove, Ga. The proposed school will offer in-depth education including rigorous core training in language arts, math, science, humanities, social studies and Spanish.

Heron Bay had submitted its charter petition to two different school boards for fall of 2010, however in a vote on June 30, the Griffin-Spalding School Board voted to deny the Charter petition for The Academy. The petition was also denied by the Henry Board of Education on July 13.

“In spite of their vote for denial, members of both boards commented on the strength of the charter petition and noted that the school’s educational program and structure was unique, solid and unquestioned,” said Marilyn Bowman, of Mosaica Education, one of the nation’s leading private operators of K-12 public schools who help bring the benefits of the competition and private sector efficiency to the public school system.

Minerva Properties, the developer of Heron Bay Golf & Country Club, and Mosaica Education have a unique vision to unite the community with a neighborhood charter school designed to promote educational excellence, parental partnerships and community stewardship. If you would like to partner with the school or join the Parent Advisory Committee, please contact Marilyn Bowman at mbowman@mosaicaeducation.com or Stacy Patton at spatton@minerva-usa.com. Interested individuals may also come to an Update Meeting on Heron Bay Academy at the Heron Bay Lodge on August 18, at 7:00 pm.

About Heron Bay Academy:
Heron Bay Academy is targeted to open in the fall of 2010 as a K-6 program for students residing in Spalding and Henry Counties. The school will be tuition-free and will expand one grade level per year up to the 8th grade. The academy is supported by parents, community leaders, and local businesses and organizations who believe passionately in the school’s mission and the importance of quality education and school choice in Locust Grove. Partnering with parents, Heron Bay Academy will create an ideal learning environment in which students strive for academic excellence, explore a diverse curriculum, become responsible stewards, and develop into lifelong learners. An important component of the educational program is Paragon - an interdisciplinary, hands-on social studies curriculum incorporating the arts and humanities
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