Kirkwood Campus: 404-622-2727 | Gwinnett Campus: 770-342-0089 || Free Public Charter Schools Serving DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton Counties

Teresa Reeves drove by Ivy Prep Kirkwood routinely on her commute to work for more than a year, but when a family member gave her “rave reviews” about the school she decided stop in for a tour.

“I really liked what I saw immediately,” Reeves said.

Her fifth grader, Tiffany Reeves was one of more than 150 students to gain entry into Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood in the annual school lottery, which offered prospective families “red carpet” hospitality and a ceremony inspired by the Academy Awards.

Scholars were greeted by paparazzi when they entered the door.

DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester pulled the student names at random. Mrs. Victoria Wiley, executive director of Ivy Prep Academies, and Kendra Shipmon, principal of IPA School for Girls, greeted new scholars and consoled those who were waitlisted.

New scholars and those on the waitlist were invited to stay for an Oscar-style after party, which was attended by more than 200 people.
“It wasn’t just mom and dad, it was grandpa, aunt and cousin,” said Gabriel Haggray, IPA Kirkwood’s Recruitment and Registration Specialist. “They all came to celebrate that their scholar got in. It was really exciting. We had a lot of fun.”

Tiffany Reeves, a rising sixth grader, enjoyed the entertainment with her family as IPA scholars on the school step team gave a performance. Reeves said she hopes to join them someday.

“I am glad to be here,” she said. “I will be able to learn more and won’t be distracted by boys.”

IPA Kirkwood’s annual lottery ended the competition for seats in grades 7 and 9 at IPYMLA and the competition for seats in grades 2,7, 8 and 9 at Kirkwood’s School for Girls. (Open seats are available in other select grades at both schools.)

“We are very excited to welcome all of our new scholars to the Ivy Prep Network as they begin their journey to college,” Wiley said. “We look forward to supporting each scholar and their family as they strive for success.”

Siblings were able to take advantage of the new policy crafted to ease the transportation burden on families. For the first time, IPA offered automatic admission to the younger siblings of scholars whose names were selected if the younger siblings enrolled in the same single-gender Ivy Prep school.

“Often times you lose families because students have to split up. A one stop shop is ideal,” Haggray said. “We had twins to get in the boys school in sixth grade and twins to get in the eighth grade in the girls school. “

Student enrollment at IPA Kirkwood is slated to grow next school year as the School for Girls and IPYMLA add a new grade level for rising sophomores. The state also approved a boundary expansion for Ivy Prep Academies that doubles the attendance zone for the charter schools network.

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.

School administrators advise parents who are considering IPA for 2015-16 to act fast. “Seats are filling up quickly,” Wiley said.

More than 300 scholars at Kirkwood’s School for Girls have filed re-enrollment forms to continue their education during the 2015-16 school year. Approximately 252 IPYMLA students signed re-enrollment forms for next school year.

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, Kirkwood’s 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 more than 400 students in the fall. Wiley said the school can accommodate 500 if additional teachers are hired.

IPA schools have extended days, an extended year and a college preparatory curriculum. The mission of IPA schools is to help prepare scholars to enter and succeed in the colleges and universities of their choice.

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