SCA Awarded over $100,000 in Grants by the State

Local charter school, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) has been awarded over $100,000 in grants by the State of Georgia. SCA was awarded a Charter School Facilities Grant of $40,476.19 on June 13. This new grant is a result of the General Assembly’s amendment to the Charter School Act in 2017 which replaced the existing competitive grant program with the new facilities grant program.  The FY 2020 grant is the first appropriation to the 84 eligible charter schools in Georgia and is designed to make charter school facility funding more comparable to facility funding for traditional public schools in the state.  Charter schools eligible to receive a facilities grant are those that (1) submit an annual audit report (or will submit one for FY20) and (2) own or lease their own school building with a lease term of three years or longer.

In addition, the Governor of Georgia announced that SCA will receive $60,000 from the School Safety Grant Program to upgrade the school’s safety infrastructure when the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools (SCCPSS) releases these funds. Every school in the district is set to receive $30,000 from the School Safety Grant Program but SCA has qualified for two grants – one for its K- Grade 8 students and the second for the SCA High School.

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Georgia State Awards Savannah Classical Academy over $100,000 in Grants

Local charter school, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) has been awarded over $100,000 in grants by the State of Georgia. SCA was awarded a Charter School Facilities Grant of $40,476.19 on June 13. This new grant is a result of the General Assembly’s amendment to the Charter School Act in 2017 which replaced the existing competitive grant program with the new facilities grant program. The FY 2020 grant is the first appropriation to the 84 eligible charter schools in Georgia and is designed to make charter school facility funding more comparable to facility funding for traditional public schools in the state.
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Two Savannah-Chatham charter schools owe district $982,000, school board says

When enrollment declines between the time Savannah-Chatham County public schools projects classroom numbers during the spring budget process and the following November, the district isn’t responsible for paying back the funds it received based on the higher number.

But two charter schools that faced lower enrollment this past school year won’t be granted the same courtesy, the school board said Wednesday. The board voted 8-1 at its regular meeting June 5 to require Savannah Classical Academy and Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School to repay a total of $982,000 to the school district over the next two years because their 2018-19 enrollments were lower than budgeted.

Savannah Classical Academy will have two years to return to the district $591,953, due to a mid-year adjustment in revenue tied to enrollment. The school’s enrollment declined last summer, after the fiscal 2019 budget process, largely because the Georgia Department of Education put an enrollment moratorium into effect. The Department of Education lifted the moratorium just before school opened after the school’s Georgia Milestones Assessment System scores improved dramatically from the prior year, but it was too late to recover from the enrollment decline.

“I’ll just say I’m disappointed in their decision,” Savannah Classical Academy Director Barry Lollis said Friday about the school board’s decision. The board’s vote came after months of a “should we or shouldn’t we” discussion about whether the charters should be forgiven, or “held harmless” from, the funds some insisted the schools owed the district due to enrollment declines. 

Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School is expected to return $390,593 to the district over the next two years because its enrollment declined when it dropped a class. Three other charter schools are receiving increases, including $53,000 for Tybee Island Maritime Academy, $74,000 for Oglethorpe and $328,439 for Susie King Taylor Community School, according to board documents.

The board’s vote didn’t go the way the two charters that are required to repay funds hoped it would. “The negative midterm adjustment proposed for Coastal Empire will wipe out approximately 45 percent of our general fund balance,” Bill Kovach, CFO for Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School, told the board Wednesday.

Kovach said the board’s decision to require repayment violates state Department of Education regulations. He cited Georgia Code 20-2-162 and said it holds school districts harmless from having to return funds based on enrollment recalculations even if students transfer to other districts.

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Georgia’s Lt. Governor speaks to Savannah Classical Academy students

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan was in the Hostess City this morning to speak to the students at Savannah Classical Academy.

Students kicked off the SCA Honors and Lower school Bridging Ceremony with a school song. Shortly after Lt., Governor Duncan took the stage to give the opening remarks.

He talked about the importance of community involvement in the education of young children. SCA was just one stop on Duncan’s tour. He’s made it a priority to speak at events like this one all across the state. 

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Lt. Gov. Duncan to students: ‘Keep working hard’

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan visited Savannah Classical Academy Friday, a charter school within the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, to speak to elementary students and their parents at an end-of-year ceremony, where he encouraged them to keep working hard.

The school, which has made a comeback this year after the state placed it on probation in July 2017 and issued an enrollment moratorium last year after it missed goals for academics and other organizational performance, can provide a lesson for other schools facing challenging situations throughout the state, Duncan said. The state lifted the school’s enrollment ban just before school opened in August, after its students’ performance on 2018 Georgia Milestones Assessment System improved dramatically.

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SCA to Recognize Fine Arts Week with Three Events

Savannah Classical Academy is slated to recognize Fine Arts Week 2019 throughout the school week beginning Monday, May 6, with three exciting events. All events are free and open to SCA families and supporters. 

The first event, a Piano Keyboard Recital, will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at the school, 705 E. Anderson Street. At 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 the SCA Strings Conservatory Ensemble will perform a benefit concert at Immanuel Baptist Church, 7375 Hodgson Memorial Dr. This celebratory week will culminate at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 9 with a Fine Arts Showcase Concert and Visual Arts Exhibition dedicated to showcasing SCA students’ work, which will also be held at the school on E. Anderson Street.

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Savannah Classical Academy Reveals Newly Restored Spartans’ Gym

On Thursday, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) students, faculty and supporters joined together for the official unveil of the public charter school’s newly restored gymnasium. SCA Director Barry Lollis and Board President Scott McGhie recognized donors who helped fund this project and updated attendees on SCA’s recent successes. Lollis also included the school’s student body in the special occasion by mixing in some lighthearted moments, recognizing students who achieved honor roll and high honor roll, as well as those with perfect attendance. And, as an entertaining reward for students who helped with a recent initiative, Lollis concluded the event by taking a pie to the face, along with another faculty member, courtesy of two SCA kindergarteners.

Commemorating this special event, the SCA boys’ basketball team and girls’ volleyball team, who recently made it to the 2018 GHSA volleyball state playoffs, competed in a lively volleyball game. This friendly game served as a special opportunity for these students to play in front of all of their peers, which they have never been able to do in the past. Prior to this renovation, the gymnasium, although used as an exercise space, was ineligible to host sporting events as it did not meet the state’s standards. However, because of this restoration project, beginning in the 2019-20 school year, SCA will be able to host basketball and volleyball games in Spartan’s Gym.

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Savannah Classical Academy Gets a New Gymnasium

On Thursday, April 18, students, faculty and supporters of Savannah Classical Academy gathered at the Savannah-Chatham public charter school for the official unveiling of the school’s newly restored gymnasium. The gymnasium was funded through community donations and features the artistry, craftsmanship and labor of a number of local Savannah residents, including muralist Adolfo Hernández Alvarado.

“We are grateful to every single individual who believed in the passion behind our mission and helped turn this project into a reality, and to our athletics director, Mr. Eric Parker, who was instrumental in coordinating with our vendors through this process,” Lollis said. “As SCA is on track to serve grades K-12 beginning in August 2019, it is vital that we create a strong sense of a well-rounded community within our school by retaining and attracting students who are interested in athletics as well as a classical education.” 

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