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More than 750 girls will compete in a lottery drawing to be an Ivy Scholar at 10 a.m. Saturday at 1807 Memorial Drive as Ivy Preparatory Academies hosts a record-breaking enrollment ritual to prepare for the new school year.

Interest in Georgia’s first public charter school network for girls has quadrupled in 2017 following dynamic changes to the academic structure, faculty, and leadership of Ivy Prep.

A new principal now leads Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood School for Girls. The curriculum at Ivy Prep Kirkwood and Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett is now linked to state and national standards of academic excellence. Classroom instruction is individualized, accelerated, and data-driven based on student performance on online assessments. And scholars, as well as teachers, attend weekly professional development sessions to improve teaching and learning and promote community service.

School leaders say the improvements have resulted in a flood of applications to enroll for the 2017-18 school year.

“When we opened the enrollment season for the 2017-18 school year, we received nearly 1,000 applications from families who wanted their girls to become Ivy Scholars,” said Superintendent Alisha T. Morgan, head of Ivy Preparatory Academies. “The historic number of applications is ringing endorsement of the work that we are doing here to prepare scholars for success in school and in life.”

The flood of applications came with little advertisement from Ivy Prep. Families interested in Ivy Prep have been attending school events, following the charter school network on Facebook, and visiting the school’s website. Current Ivy families also serve as walking billboards that share their child’s Ivy success story with friends and neighbors.

“We received four times more applications this year than we received last year,” said Jacob Cole, chief of staff at Ivy Preparatory Academies. “This is an unprecedented best for the network. Saturday will be an emotional time as new scholars are welcomed into the Ivy family.”

The lottery drawing will begin at 10 a.m. as the name of applicants for open seats at Ivy Prep Kirkwood are announced in a room of cheers and tears. The names called will fill open seats in grades K-8 for the 2017-18 school year.

“We are going to have rooms where families who have just been admitted can have photos taken and meet some of our current families,” Cole said.

Applicants for Ivy Prep Gwinnett have all been accepted for the new school year even though there was enough interest to host a separate lottery for the school. Superintendent Morgan said the record number of applications for IPA Gwinnett has caused the school to expand the enrollment for sixth grade. The Gwinnett campus is located at 3705 Engineering Drive in Peachtree Corners.

Ivy Preparatory Academies, Georgia’s first public charter school network for girls, challenges students with a college preparatory curriculum that includes an extended school day, an extended school year, college tours, and an accelerated academic program for advanced learners. Each scholar receives an individualized success plan that includes performance data and personal goals to help them stay on track for success in high school and college.


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