ALBANY, Ga. — The steering committee of Dougherty County's nascent College and Career Academy received the first draft of its charter petition Friday.
The Albany Herald has obtained a copy of the draft. In it, the committee recommends naming the new charter school "Albany College and Career Academy" (ACCA) and calls for a gradual "repurposing" of Albany High School into ACCA's permanent home.
The 59-page draft must be reviewed and approved by the Dougherty County School Board and Superintendent Joshua Murfree before an Aug. 1 deadline to submit the charter petition to the state.
According to the petition, ACCA's mission is "to produce college and career ready graduates with relevant skills and education and with exceptional work ethic who can compete and succeed in our global economy."
If approved by the Board, Murfree and the state, the new charter school would begin operation in August of the 2013-14 school year.
ACCA would be run by an autonomous policymaking board, called directors, and a chief executive office who would be appointed by and answer to the directors.
In the application, which took nearly 200 volunteers almost a year to put together, the steering committee wanted to "produce a concept that is bold, innovative, and a clear sign that Dougherty County is determined to face its challenges head on, to persevere and to overcome all obstacles."
ACCA's goals and measurable objectives will be based on a five-year plan beginning in the 2013-14 school year. Increasing the county's graduation rate is at the top of that list.
From the 2011 county baseline cohort graduation rate of 54.12 percent, the percentage of students who attend ACCA and graduate with a regular high school diploma will start at 60 percent in Year One and increase 5 percent per year:
- 60 percent at the end of Year One;
- 65 percent at the end of Year Two;
- 70 percent at the end of Year Three;
- 75 percent at the end of Year Four;
- 80 percent at the end of Year Five.
The other measurable goals listed in the application include improving CTAE (Career, Technical and Agricultural Education) enrollment in the DCSS, to improve the State Performance Targets (SPT) for end of course tests in English and Math students enrolled at ACCA; to increase the number of students enrolled at ACCA who demonstrate skills attainment in a career pathway; and to increase the number of students in Dougherty County high schools enrolling in post-secondary education.
The charter draft states that "ACCA will adhere to the admission policies of the Dougherty County School System. Students must first be enrolled in one of the high schools of the Dougherty County School System and then register for one or more classes offered at ACCA.
"ACCA will not have a separate “school number” for state accountability purposes, nor will students be considered “full time” enrollment students at ACCA, no matter how many classes students take at ACCA.
"All credits earned by ACCA students will "flow back" to the student's base high school for accountability. Students at ACCA will be counted in the enrollment and state report card of their base schools."
Another unique concept is the makeup of the ACCA's Directors. The seven voting members will be:
- One member nominated by the Superintendent and the local board to represent secondary education.
- One member jointly nominated to represent post-secondary education by the presidents of Albany Technical College, Albany State College, and Darton College.
- One high school parent member (who is not an employee of the local board or any participating college) jointly selected by the high school principals.
- Two business members nominated by the Board of Directors of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Two business members nominated by the Board of Directors of the Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission.
DCSS Board member Darrel Ealum said Friday he expects the charter draft to be reviewed and then go before the full board for approval on June 27.