ATLANTA -- The state Board of Education won't decide on the continuance of Newton County's Challenge Charter Academy until next year.
February 2013 is likely the earliest it would appear as an information item, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
Earlier this month, the Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved the renewal of the Academy's petition for three years, instead of the requested five years.
"On behalf of the Challenge Charter Academy and the Challenge Foundation Inc., we would like to thank our students, parents, staff and the community for their support in conveying the importance of our school in the Newton County community," said school Principal Ernetta Dailey-Worthy in a prepared statement. "With much gratitude, we thank the Newton County School System Board of Education for the local approval to recommend us for a three-year renewal to the state."
The state Board of Education can only approve or deny the term length included in the renewal petition, according to Lou Erste, Charter Schools Division director at the GaDOE.
"Of course, if we are unable to approve the length included in the petition, the school and district could modify their requested term length to something we could approve. That is all worked our during out review process," he said.
The Academy's renewal petition, along with other charter schools' petitions from around the state, are due to the state board prior to Nov. 1.
Along with the Academy's petition to the state, NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said he will write a letter of recommendation for the school to send to the state board; he said the local school board's approval also should weigh on the state board's decision.
Renewal applicants for charter schools in Georgia also will participate in a panel interview in November or December. Many renewal applicants will also be selected for a site visit from Charter Schools Division personnel.
Applicants will be notified whether the Department will recommend their school to the state Board of Education for approval or denial, according to the GaDOE.
NCSS supports Challenge Charter Academy with about $300,000, while the state funds the school at about $800,000 annually, according to Mathews.
The school is open to all Newton County students in grades six through 12 and has a current enrollment of 105 students. The school projects an enrollment of more than 300 students over the next five years.
"We provide a nurturing school environment that allows students to have smaller class sizes, which helps to cultivate and increase student learning," Worthy said. "Our goal is to increase student achievement, which is a result of us continuing to improve teacher effectiveness."