Applications piling up for Pataula Charter Academy

EDISON -- Since it was approved unanimously by the State Charter School Commission last month, Pataula Charter Academy has been taking applications from parents who want to enroll their child or children in the public school.

As of Tuesday evening, Pataula Principal Kylie Holley said the school had received 198 applications for enrollment for the 340-student Bluffton school for grades kindergarten through sixth-grade. Scheduled to open in August with a projected budget of $1.8 million, Pataula will employ 14 teachers and have two classes for each grade.

Like other public schools, Pataula would receive state and federal funds. It would also receive state funds that equal the local amounts that the students leaving would be earning in their present school systems.

"We are getting on average 10 applicants a day, every day since (Saturday's) lottery," Holley said in an e-mail late Tuesday night to The Herald.

"We were thrilled to see the excitement of the parents and students at our lottery," Pataula Charter Academy Board Chair Tiffany Bruner said. "We were very pleased with the number in attendance and the number of applicants for the lottery and since."

Pataula officials held a lottery for enrollment in first-, second- and third-grade classes. They did not need a lottery to determine enrollment for kindergarten, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes. Those students and their siblings were automatically enrolled, Bruner said.

A county breakdown on where the students are coming from that are interested in Pataula and a county breakdown of each grade level was unavailable at the present time, Bruner said.

"We do not have that information yet," she said. "In the next few weeks we will be working on creating some demographic stats, but we have too much going on right now. We have to prioritize carefully. We (have)

some really big grant applications due soon."