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Board renews contract for College Park charter school
by Nneka Okona
April 17, 2013 10:08 AM | 1515 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fulton Leadership Academy Inc., an all-male charter school in College Park, was recently given the go-ahead with a renewal of its five-year contract by the Georgia State Board of Education.

Gavin Samms, Ph.D, said the application for renewal of the contract was submitted in October of last year and they received notice it had been approved in January.

Samms said the school also applied to be considered a charter school within the Fulton County School System but approval was denied.

The denial was disappointing, he said.

“That was hard for me because we have an all boys school and all men of color,” he said. “I couldn’t fathom that they wouldn’t want to work with us.”

Nonetheless, the school is moving forward with the state approval.

The academy has not been in the south Fulton area long, but has already made significant strides that prove the model for academic success is working and effective, especially in terms of CRCT pass rates for sixth and seventh-grade students Samms said.

For instance, for sixth graders during the 2010-11 school year, the pass rate in reading for students was 97 percent, meaning that 97 percent of those students met or exceeded the state’s standards.

Samms said that is due to an innovative approach in the classrooms that engages and captures the interest of every student, while instilling a will to learn.

“With our young men, we try to leverage who they are,” he said. “We are competitive and try to incorporate a lot of competitive stuff in the classroom to keep them engaged. A lot of research says boys don’t do well because they don’t care.”

Making students care is the motive.

“We think boys are tough,” he said. “That is a signal that they are fragile and don’t know what to do so they act out. We work with them and try to create a structure where it’s okay to be smart and be in control of their emotions.”

Coupled with teachers who are experts in the courses they are teaching,the school is prepped and ready to succeed in the present and future.

Applications for the 2013-14 school year are still being accepted for boys in grades six through nine.

Interested applicants can download an application at www.fultonleadershipacademy.net.

Fulton Leadership Academy is at 4141 Old Fairburn Road in College Park.

Information: (404) 472-3529.

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