/Charter groups seek to open schools in Jackson, Delta

Charter groups seek to open schools in Jackson, Delta

Three groups have applied to open five charter schools in Mississippi for the 2017 school year. Four schools were proposed to be in Jackson, one in Sunflower Co. and two out-of-state charter management companies applied to the state Charter School Authorizer Board. A third independent group from the Delta applied to open a Drew kindergarten to eighth grade school. Collegiate Academics, a New Orleans-based group, applied for the opening of the first charter school in the state. It will be serving Jackson’s 9th-12th graders. I Can Schools, an Ohio-based school, is looking to open three schools in Jackson for grades kindergarten through 8. It currently operates charter schools throughout Ohio and Indiana. Shades of Elegance, a Delta group, is looking to open a Delta kindergarten through eighth grade school. Shantal Johnson, a former teacher at KIPP Memphis Preparatory Middle, is the proposed principal. T.J. Graham was involved in the preparation of the application. Graham stated that she would like the children to have the same quality education opportunities as those in larger areas, but cannot cross the district lines into Jackson. This is referring to the legislation this year that allows some students to travel across the district lines to attend charter schools. Graham stated that she was the leader of the group to open the school, which also includes parents and educators from the region. The letter of intent stated that the school would use “arts-integrated STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math).” All three phases of the application process were completed. Krystal Cormack, a board member, stated that Excellence 2000, based in Dallas, was denied due to the fact that it did not provide proof of citizenship for certain employees and had not submitted a current financial audit. The board reviews the applications in the initial stage of the application process. The board ensures that the application meets a minimum quality threshold in the second stage. In the third stage, the board evaluates the school plans and conducts interviews. RePublic Schools, a Nashville-based charter school, will add 6th grade to the Jackson school it currently serves 5th graders. It will also open Joel E. Smilow prep, which will eventually be used by grades 5-8. Midtown Public Charter School in Jackson will add 7th grade to the school currently serving 5th and 6th grades. In September, the board will approve all schools. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.