Macon’s newest charter school, Dream Academy, will delay opening one year because of low enrollment.
Enrollment fell 207 students short of the minimum requirement.
"As a result, the Dream Academy board requested to defer the school’s opening until 2019," Bonnie Holliday, executive director of the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia, said in an email to The Telegraph. "After considering that request, and in recognizing that the school is unlikely to be financially viable without adequate enrollment, SCSC staff granted the board’s request.”
Dream needed 503 students to open successfully, according to the charter schools commission. Only 296 were enrolled for fall 2018.
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On Monday, parents found out they would have to find a new school for their kids to attend this year. Dream Academy was supposed to open Aug. 1.
Dream’s board of directors will continue its recruitment process in the coming months to ensure there are enough students to open come August 2019.
“We’re going to be doing more open houses to allow parents and students and community members to do full tours of the facility,” said Betsy Fitzgerald, vice chairwoman for the Dream Academy board. “We will continue our efforts at employment areas like local hospitals since so many people travel from other counties to here for work.”
Dream Academy’s mission is to encourage students to reach their full potential through a blend of music, arts and academics. Getting the word out about what that actually means is something Dream Academy’s leaders will focus on.
The school will have professional artist-educators demonstrate what a typical class at Dream would look like. Dream will host these programs around the area.
“This will make sure parents can see for themselves an idea of what a lesson in class might look like,” Fitzgerald said. “We want to do these programs, so parents get an idea of what this means and also provide a place for them to ask questions.”