The Gainesville City school system will likely retain its charter status for the next 10 years.
Gainesville City Schools officials met Wednesday morning in Atlanta with the Charter Advisory Board and the Georgia State Department of Education to present the district’s application for renewal.
Superintendent Merrianne Dyer and school board Chairwoman Maria Calkins presented the application to the state Charter Advisory Board.
Calkins said the meeting was brief but the system’s presentation was well-prepared and gave officials an overview of its strengths.
Dyer said the charter committee commended the district for its work over the last five years since it became a charter system.
The board moved the application for action and will vote on its approval at the next state board meeting April 5.
“We’re assured they intend to take the approval action on it,” Dyer said.
The original legislation for charter schools and systems requires a renewal application for charter status every five years.
“This one we petitioned for a 10-year charter and we’ll receive it. We’ll be a charter system and charter schools until 2023,” Dyer said.
Dyer said the committee specifically commended the district’s ability to recognize the things that need improvement and for turning around its financial deficit.
The areas the system needs to improve on are how to improve achievement for English language learners and students with disabilities.
“Our graduation rate has gone up every year during the last five years of our charter,” Dyer said. “However, we know that our English language learners and students with disabilities continue to be challenged to meet the state average or exceed the state average. So we wanted them to know that we knew that.”
Dyer said the system is working to improve both areas.
Gainesville is one of four of the state’s original charter districts. There are nine charter systems in the state.
Being a charter system affords the district more flexibility in how and what it teaches. The system must still adhere to state guidelines and standards but the method of delivery can be selected by the schools in the system.
Charter schools and systems can receive up to $100 in additional funding for each full-time student.