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Lottery held for state's first single-gender charter school

NORCROSS - The leaders of Ivy Preparatory Academy held a lottery Monday evening to determine the 120 girls who will be in the inaugural class of the state's first single-gender charter school.

The school received 126 applications before the 5 p.m. deadline on March 24. Preference was given to the four girls who are daughters of the school's teachers or board members. The 116 remaining seats were filled through the lottery, in accordance with state charter school law.

The six girls who were not selected in the lottery will be placed at the top of a waiting list, which also contains the names of 32 people whose applications were received after the deadline, school officials said.

"Ivy Prep has been a vision and a work in process for the last four years," said Nina Gilbert, the school's lead founder. "I always knew there was a need for a school like Ivy Prep. ... Tonight shows there's a demand for a school like Ivy Prep."

The school will require no tuition because it's a state chartered special school.

About 300 people attended the lottery at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Norcross. Gilbert said the location of the school cannot yet be announced because a deal is still being made, but she said the building would be located in that area of Gwinnett County.

Sydney Humphreys, a fifth-grade student at Britt Elementary, said she was excited to be chosen to attend Ivy Prep.

"I was like, "Wow,' because I have lots of friends who are going to the school," she said. "I think it's going to be a good experience and an amazing and great opportunity."