The Purpose Built Schools Mission

Purpose Built Schools is building a network of high-performing schools in Atlanta’s lowest-income communities, utilizing the highly successful model of Drew Charter School. Our mission is to turn around failing schools and put all children on a trajectory for success through college and in their careers. In the process, we will help revitalize the neighborhood they serve.

Putting Education Front and Center

Drew Charter School opened its doors in 2000, providing the cradle-to-college education pipeline for the holistic community revitalization of the East Lake community in southeast Atlanta. The success in East Lake led to the creation of Purpose Built Communities, which is taking the East Lake model and replicating it in communities around the country. Drew Charter School has served as the cradle-to-college education model for several of these other revitalization initiatives, and after 15 years of success at Drew, it was determined that Purpose Built Communities should create a special entity dedicated solely to providing this innovative approach to education. Purpose Built Schools was created to fulfill this need.

Off and Running

In December 2015, the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) issued an RFQ seeking innovative proposals to turn around historically low-performing schools. In January 2016, Purpose Built Schools was selected by APS to operate four schools within the Carver Cluster – two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Purpose Built Schools reopened Thomasville Heights Elementary as a participating school in July 2016. We will begin operating Slater Elementary and Price Middle School in 2017, and Carver High School in 2018.

Purpose Built Schools will run each of these schools pursuant to a first-of-its-kind-in-Georgia contract with Atlanta Public Schools (APS). The contract gives Purpose Built Schools all the authority, independence, and flexibility of a charter school. Purpose Built Schools is solely responsible for recruiting, hiring, supervising and evaluating all school personnel, and every adult at our schools is a Purpose Built Schools employee. At the same time, each school remains a traditional neighborhood school with a defined attendance zone like every other APS school.