About Purpose Built Schools
It’s critical for transforming the lives of the 3,000 students who will be in our schools shortly. We are an important demonstration point for turnaround schoolwork nationally. We are at the center of education reform in Georgia, and our success will mean greater opportunities for innovative approaches throughout APS and Georgia. We are proving something that really hasn’t been done before; that a school can actually spark the revitalization of an entire community.
Nobody. Nationally, there are only three major Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) operating tradition public school turnarounds, and together, they operate fewer than 20 schools. Nowhere else in Georgia is there a comprehensive effort to turn around a historically low-achieving school. Nowhere else in Georgia has a District partnered with an outside charter provider to run a failing school. Nowhere else in Georgia is there an effort to use a school to transform a community.
People aren’t used to the idea of consistent and targeted effort over 10 years, especially in an education space where superintendents and boards change every 4 years and goals are generally measured in short term metrics. However, there are areas in our lives where we think about things in 10-year increments or longer. No important social cause has been achieved in the short term, including the turnaround at Drew Charter School.
Our metrics for success include:
- All four cluster schools are in the top 25% in the state on CCRPI and student performance measures
- Carver High School graduation and college enrollment rates are in the top 25% in the state
- Student mobility has been reduced to 10% at each school
- All four schools are fully enrolled; 15% of students transfer from out of attendance zone
- Students are engaged and successful outside of academics
- We have the highest parent participation in our PTA in APS
- The THES and Carver HS neighborhoods are safe, with high-quality, affordable housing options and median incomes at 40% level of state average
The formula is simple, but by no means easy. The right strategy involves a tremendous team effort, comprehensive community support (to include sponsoring partners and early learning partnerships), vastly improved conditions inside and outside the school house, an emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and awesome classroom instruction based upon the Drew Model.
Purpose Built Schools will operate a K–12 feeder pattern of traditional public schools, but with the flexibility and full autonomy of a charter school. This unique approach allows us to combine the best of both traditional neighborhood schools and charter programs. We attract great teachers because we make an investment in their careers through ongoing professional development, highly competitive salaries, and access to resources. Teachers are also bolstered by a support system of community partners and engaged parents.