ATLANTA – Ivy Preparatory Academies has received state approval to double the size of its attendance zone opening the door to thousands of new students from Fulton County and the City of Atlanta.
The petition to expand Ivy Prep’s school boundaries was unanimously approved recently by the State Charter Schools Commission. The expansion is in response to metro Atlanta parent interest in the single-gender school network’s academic program.
“This is very significant because we have a great deal of interest from students and parents who live outside of our current attendance zone,” said Mrs. Victoria Wiley, executive director of IPA. “We wanted to be able to serve families who are unhappy with their home schools by offering them school choice.”
IPA operates three free single-gender public charter schools: Ivy Prep Gwinnett, its flagship school for girls, Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls, and Ivy Prep Young Men’s Leadership Academy (IPYMLA), both in DeKalb County.
Under IPA’s new boundaries, students who attend or are eligible to attend Fulton County Schools and DeKalb County Schools can now enroll at Ivy Prep Gwinnett, which is located at 3705 Engineering Drive in Peachtree Corners. Students who attend or are eligible to attend Atlanta Public Schools can enroll in IPA Kirkwood School for Girls or IPYMLA, which is located at 1807 Memorial Drive in Atlanta.
The new attendance zone restores some of the footprint IPA originally had when its high-performing Gwinnett campus opened in 2008. IPA Gwinnett lost its statewide attendance zone following a Georgia Supreme Court case filed by metro Atlanta school districts who challenged Ivy Prep’s ability to exist and attract students and education dollars from across county lines.
School administrators advise parents who are considering IPA for 2015-16 to act fast. “Seats are filling up quickly,” Wiley said.
IPA Kirkwood, which is near the border of APS, can accommodate 460 students at each single-gender school. The campus is currently going through an expansion. Earlier this school year, the IPA School for Girls received a $14 million bond issue to purchase the strip mall it and the boy’s school is housed in and build-out new classroom space.
IPA Gwinnett administrators estimate an enrollment of 400 students in the fall. Wiley said the school can accommodate 500 if additional teachers are hired.
In 2012, IPA Gwinnett was the only public middle school in Gwinnett County to be named as a “rewards school” by the state Department of Education for high standardized test performance among low income students. IPA Gwinnett has a record of out-performing state and local district averages in several areas on state exams. IPA Kirkwood’s School for Girls has experienced similar success. The academic program at IPYMLA has helped students to improve their behavior and close gaps in learning.
IPA schools have extended days, an extended year, and a challenging college preparatory curriculum.
“We would like to thank the commission for allowing us to offer more school choice to parents in Georgia,” Wiley said. “This gives us an opportunity to expose more students to the Ivy Prep brand as well as to college.”