Superintendent visits Norcross charter school

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

NORCROSS -- In honor of National Charter Schools Week, Georgia's superintendent of schools visited Ivy Preparatory Academy for the first time on Tuesday.

Kathy Cox toured the Norcross campus, visited classrooms and spoke to students about their educational experience at the all-girls charter school. Charter schools are public schools designed to operate independent of federal, state and local regulation in exchange for increased accountability in student achievement.

"This is a terrific example of the power of charters," Cox said of the 2-year-old school. "Charters allow innovation. Charters allow people to be innovative with how they deliver instruction. Charters allow the flexibility to learn."

Ultimately, Cox said, the school's success will depend on the parents and students, not a group of elected officials. By design, charter schools allow more input from parents in school management, curriculum and more.

"When it comes to parental involvement, there's no better avenue to do that than to have a charter school," Cox said.

The state schools chief said Ivy Prep was a "great idea."

"There was a need in the community for high-achieving young women to get to a place where they're serious about education and put the distractions of middle school aside," she said.