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Ivy Preparatory Academy Joins Gwinnett's Public School System

The local charter school will be one of five charter schools to operate in 2011-12 as part of the Gwinnett County Public School system.

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently announced that Ivy Preparatory Academy, a former commissioned charter school located in Peachtree Corners, will join GCPS's four other charter schools that operate as part of the county's public school system.

Ivy Prep, an all-girls school with some 480 students had been operating as one of 16 Georgia Charter Commissioned Schools since opening in the fall of 2008.

However, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled on May 16 of this year that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission did not have the authority to establish schools and direct local monies to fund commission-approved schools.

The Gwinnett County school board had offered a charter school contract to Nina Gilbert, Head of School for Ivy Prep, on June 16 which she initially declined. Gilbert said that the $4,300 per-student allocation was far below GCPS's average of $7,500 average per student.

Mary Kay Murphy, the school board member whose district includes Ivy Prep, explained that the $4,300 calculation was based on the Peachtree Corners school's charter in terms of what educational services it offers its students.

Funding is increased when the cost of providing extra services to students needing special classes increases.

According to a GCPS report, the amount of funds distributed to Ivy Prep is based on current Charter School Law.

"The $4,300 per pupil from GCPS includes whatever state and federal funds GCPS allocates to Ivy Prep," explained Matt Cardoza, Director of Communications with the Georgia Department of Education in an email.

According to a report from GCPS, Ivy Prep has approximately 392 Gwinnett students and 190 students from DeKalb County enrolled in the 2011-12 school year. The $4,300 per student funding does not include the DeKalb County students.

"DeKalb [County] will provide no funding for the DeKalb students, but they [Ivy Prep] will receive approximately $2,800 per pupil in state Quality Basic Education (QBE) funds for those students," Cardoza added.

Classes for new students enrolled in Ivy Prep begin Monday, Aug. 8, 2011; returning students will report for classes Aug. 15.

Gwinnett County Public Schools five charter schools:

Ivy Preparatory Academy
3705 Engineering Drive
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
770-342-0089

Gwinnett County Online Campus
2595 Beaver Ruin Road, Bldg. F
Norcross, GA 30071

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology
970 McElvaney Lane
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
678-518-6700

Maxwell High School of Technology
990 McElvaney Lane
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
770-963-6838

New Life Academy of Excellence
Norcross Campus:
3159 Campus Drive, Ste. 100
Norcross, GA 30071
770-248-3032
Duluth Campus:
4725 River Green Pkwy.
Duluth, GA 30096
678-720-9870

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