Board denies charter for Ivy Prep

SUWANEE -- Gwinnett County Board of Education members voted Thursday to deny a charter extension of Ivy Prep Academy's Gwinnett campus as well as a proposed new location. Officials with Ivy Prep are headed to the state to try to get approval there.

The decision came after a district charter review committee recommended the board not grant a five-year charter extension for the Gwinnett campus, citing "significant deficiencies" including its financials and curriculum as well as its vision.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education has given Ivy Prep, a charter school, 30 days to submit a new proposal.

Representatives from Ivy Prep were undeterred by the school board's vote.

"Our students will not be affected by this," said founder Nina Gilbert. "We've been here before, and we're confident we're going to be able to move forward and get state approval to make sure our instruction is not disrupted and none of our students at Ivy Prep Academy at Gwinnett are displaced."

Following a court decision that shuttered the state commission created to fund charter schools, the Georgia Board of Education approved an agreement between Norcoss-based Ivy Prep and Gwinnett County Public Schools that kept the charter school open.

Gwinnett Schools approved a one-year contract last year to allow the school to continue to operate. The local campus operates as a Gwinnett County charter school with nearly 500 sixth- through ninth-grade girls.

The proposed Young Men's Leadership Academy, which would serve boys in sixth through 12th grade, was denied by the school board as well.

Victoria Hudson, a principal with Ivy Prep Academy, said, "we have always known this was possible and even probable. We stand prepared to transition to state charter special schools once our petition has been reviewed and approved by the state board of education."

For more information about Ivy Prep, visit www.ivyprepacademy.org.


NewsReader 3 years, 8 months ago

How is it that Ivy Prep Charter School can utilize the sex of a person as an entrance criteria, yet GSMST cannot use grades and/or performance as an entrance criteria? Anyone?


EdNewsFollower 3 years, 8 months ago

GSMST has required teacher recommendations and grade criteria as determining qualifications. Students with poor math and science schools can't get in even if the school is the best place to help the student. GSMST doesn't take low-performing kids and if someone slips by, the school does its best to get rid of them. Ivy Prep's only criteria is gender and grade-level. Plus, their plan always included having both boys and girls, just not in the same classes. Ivy Prep gets whomever it gets. Plus, they are trying to have both a boys' and a girls' school so there would be no discrimination there either. But none of that really matters. While GSMST is not really a charter - it's really a magnet, I think everyone should remember that educating students is supposed to be the most important thought within a school - not with whom it completes, not to what school board it reports nor for what specialized purpose it exists. I really don't want my doctor to be incapable of treating me because he can't add correctly or read a label.


LarryMajor 3 years, 8 months ago

You must be confusing GSMST with something else because it has none of the requirements you mentioned. It’s no secret this school has an intense academic focus and enrolled kids lacking the ability and drive to succeed there reflect a poor decision by the parents, not the school.

There is no firm legal consensus on Ivy Prep’s use of gender as an enrollment requirement, so the reality is that they will continue to do this until (if ever) successfully challenged in court.

Charter schools shouldn’t be viewed as competing with their local districts because that misses the purpose of their existence. Charter schools can, and successful ones do, offer a focus in specific areas unavailable in conventional public schools. They should be viewed as a complimentary enhancement to public education.


LoganvilleResident 3 years, 8 months ago

You have absolutely no clue what you're talking about and it's very obvious from your post. GSMST has an open admissions process. You simply apply for admission. If there are enough spots, you're automatically in. If there aren't enough spots, they have a lottery. Admission through the lottery is completely RANDOM. If your number is drawn, you are in.

Admission has absolutely NOTHING to do with grades or intelligence. If you're going to claim to be an EdNewsFollower, please make sure you know what you're talking about.


DecaturGirl 3 years, 8 months ago

Charter schools are simply another school choice option. Each child is different, and what works for one won't necessarily work for the next. Both my son and daughter are enrolled in Ivy Preparatory at their new DeKalb campus. I am impressed with the enthusiasm of the teachers and staff to see each child achieve.

As for the Gwinnett School Board's comments about a lack of vision....I don't agree. Each Ivy student knows that they are preparing for college. Each classroom is named after a different college or university. The projects assigned are challenging and allow the kids to be creative.

The single gender classes are less distracting and utilize different teaching methods that work better for girls vs boys, etc.

The Gwinnett and Dekalb BOEs would do well to use these schools as a model.


Mack711 3 years, 8 months ago

Gwinnett BOE wants 'complete' control of the education process of the students in Gwinnett. We need Charter schools as an alternative to the current school system and it's political message.


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