Work underway on new Macon charter school

jmink@macon.comApril 14, 2014 

Workers were scattered inside a large, brick building on New Forsyth Road on Monday, where the skeleton of Macon’s newest charter school stands.

There is much work to be completed before The Academy for Classical Education opens in August, but organizers are optimistic, they said during a kickoff celebration for the new school.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” co-founder Esterine Stokes said.

The school is scheduled to open Aug. 4 with 760 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. About 500 students are on a waiting list. Students were chosen by lottery -- one of the many time-consuming tasks that are necessary to open a charter school, organizers said.

While students have been chosen and teachers have been hired, officials still must order books and food, finalize insurance, buy furniture, equip the classrooms and several other tasks.

Still, the work is doable, officials say, and the school is expected to open in a few months.

The idea is to offer an education that is language-intensive, with a focus on reading and writing, Stokes said.

Stokes, a former graduation coach at Westside High School, and Laura Perkins, a former Westside principal, developed the concept after hearing from some students who were not satisfied with their education, they said.

“We really felt like the progressive model of education no longer focuses on the depth and richness of learning,” Perkins said. “Our hearts are with the kids.”

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