Dream Academy has pushed its opening back a year.
The Macon charter school initially planned to start teaching students this coming August, but the governing board has deferred to the 2018-19 school year instead.
The school’s petition was approved by the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia in August 2016, and it recently received the OK for the new start date. Led by the Otis Redding Foundation, Dream Academy’s curriculum will blend music, art and academics.
“The facility was the primary issue, finding the perfect home for the structure and academic component that are required for Dream Academy,” said Karla Redding-Andrews, chairwoman of the school’s board of directors. “We are still in the search. We have a number of facilities identified, but we can’t disclose them until a deal has been made.”
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Since the school will have a statewide attendance zone, the location needs to be easily accessible to all interstates in order to serve students across Middle Georgia and the state, she said. The site will be announced soon, and students and staff will be actively recruited after that happens.
Dream Academy will begin as a school for kindergartners through sixth-graders, adding an additional grade each year until it reaches the 12th grade. Applications will be first-come, first-served, and students will be selected through a lottery system, Redding-Andrews said.
The school’s board and committees are searching for school leaders and administrators and working on academic components, planning and fund raising. They are attending training seminars sponsored by the State Charter Schools Commission and taking research trips to make sure Dream Academy is on point. They want to make sure the program is “rock solid.”
“Just because we have deferred to 2018-19 does not mean we get a pass to sit back and wait and see what happens. We are well ahead of the game,” Redding-Andrews said. “We’ve got some exciting things going on. We wanted to make the best effort possible for the opening.”
Cirrus Academy and the Academy for Classical Education are the county’s other two charter schools. Macon Charter School was ordered to shut its doors in August 2016 after just a year in operation.