The board of directors of a proposed charter public school in north Bryan County has withdrawn its application to the Georgia State Charter Schools Commission, but plans to reapply next year.
The group, which was aiming to open Bryan ELITE (Educating Learners by Individualizing Their Education) for the 2017-2018 school year, plans to refine its application and resubmit it in May 2017 for the 2018-2019 school year.
“After a very positive meeting with state officials in July, we decided to withdraw the petition,” said Angel Williams, spokesperson for the board. “We realize there are a few areas that need more attention in order to provide the best possible education for our students.”
Of the 14 other charter public school applications the SCSC received this year, nine withdrew while one was denied and four were approved. According to the commission, Bryan ELITE “formally withdrew its petition from consideration to further develop its educational plan and strengthen capacity for later petition cycles.”
Applications to the commission are due in May and prospective schools are interviewed in July. Withdrawing an application is not viewed negatively.
“In our dealings with the governing board for Bryan ELITE, the group was very collaborative and displayed a genuine willingness to work hard to improve their plan over the next year,” said Bonnie Holliday, executive director of the State Charter Schools Commission. “That kind of attitude is always an asset for a charter petitioner.”
Williams said the board wants to ensure it is “fully equipped and prepared” to benefit students.
“We remain fully committed and dedicated to an alternative educational setting in Bryan County, but excellence is our vision and at this time we feel we need an additional year to achieve that,” Williams added. “We will be meeting to discuss changes that will help strengthen the foundation of the school and plan to apply again in May 2017.”
Bryan ELITE’s curriculum will focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and looks to operate on a year-round calendar from July 13 to June 7. The founding board has three possible locations in Pembroke where the school could be located, although none of them are current or former school buildings.
Organizers are planning on a staff of 22, including 18 teachers. About 75 percent of staff positions have been filled with verbal commitments, and those names would be released if the application is approved.
If it opens, the school would have two classes of 15 students each in grades six through 12 for a maximum of 210. More than 250 families registered in April through an informal process, including students from Evans, Bulloch and Chatham counties.
More information about the school is available at: http://bryanelite2017.wixsite.com/bryanelitecharter.