Coweta charter school finishing major expansion

A significant part of the expansion of the Coweta Charter Academy in Senoia is the addition of a 36,000 sq. ft. classroom building. The school’s student population is increasing rapidly and will provide K-6 classes beginning in August. Photo/Ben Nelms.

The large expansion of the Coweta Charter Academy at Senoia is nearly complete, and with it students old and new will return to class in August to find a new 36,000 sq. ft. classroom building and a host of other additions to the school.

Principal Tiffany Pollock on Wednesday reviewed the expansion of the campus on Ga. Highway 16 and the inclusion of more academic offerings to accommodate the 660 students who will attend during the 2013-2014 school year.

“I couldn’t be any prouder, and I’m so excited for the opportunities we will continue to bring to the community,” Pollock said.

The long-awaited expansion includes a two-story classroom building totaling nearly 36,000 sq. ft. that adjoins the rear of the existing building. The school’s 11 classrooms last year will transform into 40 classrooms this year, said Pollock. The expansion will easily accommodate the influx of students in every grade, up from the 245 who attended last year to the 860 maximum expected to attend in two years as grades seven and eight are added.

The increase in students is more than just adding 6th grade in August, Pollock said. It is also due to increases in students from grades K-5, with most of those coming from the area and with others coming from private and homeschool settings and from public schools around the county, Pollock said.

Entering the school’s front door will become a new experience for students and their parents. A new wall and doorway have been installed just inside the building to add additional security and a new reception area with offices is located near the original hallway. Further down the hallway the surprises will continue with the school’s cafeteria having doubled in size.

The new classroom building will house an art room, a science lab to be used by all students each week and computerized interactive whiteboards in all grade-level classrooms. Other additions include a music room and technology center with a production studio.

There will also be a number of staffing and program changes beginning in August. Thirty-five new staff have been hired, including teachers, support staff, a counselor, a curriculum resource teacher and a dean of students.

The music program is expanding and will include vocal and instrumental components as opposed to having only a general music offering, said Pollock. Special education is also being expanded this year with programs designed to meet the various student needs. Transportation will also see an expansion, more than doubling the number of school buses.

The additions extend far beyond the school buildings. Located on the school’s west side are a new fenced soccer field, basketball courts and outdoor recess area. Also new this year is a roadway around the perimeter of the school property along with new landscaping.

With all the new additions and offerings, some things at the charter academy will not change. Pertaining to the educational process parents are still required to physically contribute a minimum of 20 hours per year if they have one child attending the school and 30 hours per year if they have more than one child attending, Pollock said.

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