ALBANY — After Glenn Delk and Allen Hughes announced earlier this year that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission approved their New Schools Georgia Inc.’s application to open Collegiate Academy of Albany, the next major step was signing the contract.
That was carried out at a ceremony at the Flint RiverQuarium on Thursday, further solidifying the relationship with SABIS Educational Systems in getting the school up and running.
“We look forward to working with them,” Delk said.
Delk, an Atlanta-area attorney, and Hughes established New Schools Georgia, an organization that assists communities in attracting school operators to open charter schools throughout the state.
The new, independent, tuition-free charter school will open in August 2020 and serve up to 376 students in grades K-3 on a first-come, first-served basis. No admissions testing will be required.
Allen and Teresa Hughes, both native to Albany, eventually relocated to Atlanta but found themselves back home to assist in Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. They took from those efforts the desire to do something to help their hometown.
Allen Hughes said the school admissions process would be targeting low-income students.
“We have a board that will oversee all the activity,” he said. “This is founded on the sheer belief that quality education should not be limited to the select few.
“The world our children face will be a new world than what we face.”
Plans are to grow the Collegiate Academy of Albany by one grade a year until the school reaches a capacity of 1,450 students in grades K-12.
When the school opens, it will become part of SABIS, a global network of schools with a 134-year history. SABIS schools have a comprehensive international curriculum, a book series with more than 2,500 digital and traditional titles developed and produced in-house, and tracking of student performance through regular assessment.
Hughes said the same expectations and technology used throughout the network will be implemented in Albany. Over the coming months, admissions and recruitment of faculty and staff will take place.
SABIS has an active presence in 20 countries on five continents, serving more than 70,000 students with a total staff of more than 8,500 employees. The educational system is able to teach its material in 14 languages and utilizes digital interactive platforms.
SABIS President Carl Bistany said he was happy to take part in the historical significance of establishing such a school in Albany and looks forward to a final agreement soon.
SABIS was born out of Lebanon, a country deeply impacted by civil war and destruction.
“We are proud that we kept standing and educating our kids,” Bistany said. “It gave us resiliency; that is what we want to teach the kids.”
Bistany said the outreach campaign would focus on Lee and Dougherty counties. Faculty is being sought from the local area, and a nationwide search is underway for the school’s leadership.
Delk said he hopes the school will be thought of as the “early HOPE academy.”
“Our goal is to graduate 100 percent of our students,” he said.
Students who are entering kindergarten should be age 5 on or before Sept. 1 of next year. If more than 376 children are enrolled, there will be a lottery to determine who is admitted.
Collegiate Academy of Albany opened registration for students in grades K-3 on Tuesday. Parents can visit the caalbany.sabis.net to submit the enrollment application. Updates and news will be available on the academy’s Facebook page.
Teachers and staff interested in applying for openings can visit the school’s website for job descriptions and available positions. The school has an office set up at Albany Towers, which can be reached at (229) 349-6115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.