SCSC Newsletter
April 2021
The SCSC Approves New Cohort of State Charters & Welcomes New Commissioners

Warm greetings from the SCSC! During the meeting on April 28th, the SCSC approved charters for six new schools to be opened Fall 2022 in Metro Atlanta. In addition, Resurgence Hall, an existing state charter school, has been approved to replicate with a second location. Each of the new schools is proposing a unique educational approach to serve students. Congratulations to the following new schools: DeKalb Brilliance Academy, Liberation Academy, Miles Ahead Charter School, Destinations Career Academy of Georgia, ZEST Preparatory School, and PEACE Academy!
The SCSC also welcomed a new commissioner to serve on the board, Fitz Johnson. Johnson is a business & non-profit leader and long-time Cobb County resident with a demonstrated history of active community service. We are thrilled to welcome him while also grateful for the service of Commissioners Carmen Dill and Tom Lewis, who are now departing after many years of service.

Read below for more updates and important information, as well as to see highlights of Georgia’s state charter school students' artwork.
COVID Impact & Mathematics Standards Update Survey

District and Teacher Surveys
The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA) is conducting a survey of all school districts regarding the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education. This survey will include questions on virtual/remote learning, academic policies, student achievement, and CARES Act funds. District superintendents should expect to receive this survey by the end of April. Additional district staff may be needed to answer all survey questions.

In addition, DOAA is conducting a survey of teachers, to be distributed mid to the end of April. This survey will be directed to a random sample of teachers and may be sent to personal email addresses. Questions will cover topics including virtual/remote instruction, attendance and engagement, and student achievement.

Any questions about the survey may be directed to Catherine Greene at (404) 651-8868 or

Mathematics Standards Update Survey
GaDOE has extended the public feedback survey deadline for the proposed K-12 mathematics Standards to May 7, 2021.

For clarification, only the mathematics courses currently listed for public comment will be undergoing revision. Courses such as Foundations of Algebra, Math Support, Technical College Readiness Mathematics, and fourth credit options will not see any changes with their standards, purpose, or allowable use. These courses will continue to be state-funded and state-recognized in their current form moving forward.
Given the tight timeframe of the survey closing date and May State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting, we will not be bringing the math standards at the May SBOE meeting. Superintendent Woods plans to use the feedback to make additional revisions and recommend that the board repost the standards with those changes at the June SBOE meeting.
This will not change the planned timeline for implementation. We plan to fully implement the math standards in the 2022-2023 school year, following a full year of teacher training and supports.
Please see the presentation that was shared with the SBOE in January regarding the mathematics standards update.
2021 Legislative Session Summary

The SCSC completed a legislative summary that provides an overview of the 2021 Georgia General Assembly legislative changes that impact state charter schools. The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) may monitor for any of the following items during annual monitoring and/or throughout the year. State charter schools are encouraged to consult independent legal counsel for questions regarding the impact and implementation of these changes. 

2021-22 School Year: Virtual Learning Options

The SCSC has received many inquiries into the flexibility of schools' instructional delivery models in the 2021-22 school year. Specifically, schools have asked if they may continue providing remote learning to students next year and if a charter contract amendment will be required.

First, SCSC commissioners expect brick and mortar state charter schools to offer full-time in-person learning for your school communities next year. While flexibility will always be provided in exceptional situations, we believe your students achieve best when your programs are implemented with fidelity and as contemplated in your charter petitions.

The SCSC understands that some families may not be comfortable returning to full-time in-person learning next year due to medical conditions or other exceptional circumstances. To ensure state charters have the flexibility to accommodate students with an exceptional circumstance, the SCSC is proposing a one-year opt-in charter contract waiver for the 2021-22 school year.

As proposed, the waiver will allow:
  • Schools to provide remote learning to 25% of the student population in the 2021-22 school year.
  • Schools to regulate eligibility for the remote learning program (e.g. require a medical note, etc.).

The waiver will NOT allow schools or students to waive accountability or assessment requirements. In other words, the SCSC will continue to hold all state charter schools to the same academic performance for expectations, regardless of the instructional model.

As always, the SCSC staff would like to solicit school feedback prior to recommending this action to the SCSC board for adoption. Please send your feedback to by May 14, 2021. The SCSC board will consider action on this item at the May 26th board meeting.

Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV4)

Effective July 1, 2021, children 16 years of age and older, who are entering the 11th grade (including new entrants), must have received one booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), unless their initial dose was administered on or after their 16th birthday.
As a reminder, meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that affects the brain and the spinal cord in the form of meningitis, and the bloodstream in the form of septicemia. It can cause shock, coma, and death within hours of the first symptoms.
If students have not been vaccinated against meningococcal disease, we strongly recommend they visit their doctor or health care provider to get their MCV4 booster shot. Receiving the MCV4 booster now will not only help protect students against the ongoing threat of meningitis, but will also meet the new school entry requirement.

Please review and share the Department of Public Health's parent letter in English and/or Spanish.
Parents of students without health insurance or those whose health plan does not cover these vaccines, may call their local health department and ask about getting no or low cost vaccines. For more information, visit or call (800)-848-3868.
If you have any questions, please contact Kathleem Toomey, M.D., M.P.H at or 404-657-2703.
State Charter Schools Foundation Recognizes Teachers & Student Artists
Nominate a Shining Star Teacher 
The State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia (SCSF) is now accepting nominations for their Shining Star Teacher Awards for 2021! Twenty-five teachers will be recognized as Shining Stars for demonstrating commitment, creativity, and compassion during a very unusual school year. Parents, students, coworkers, school leaders, and members of the community are encouraged to nominate a teacher at a state charter school who has made a difference. Our star teachers will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and recognition on the SCSF website and social media. Nominate a teacher HERE
Students Reflect on Last Year through Art
The SCSF presents a juried virtual exhibition of art created by 150 students across the state. The art demonstrates the challenges and hope the students have experienced during a turbulent time that has included the COVID-19 pandemic and protests of racial injustice. The theme for 2021 was “How I Stay Connected to Others,” and state charter school students in grades K-12 were encouraged to express how they have been in touch with people and made connections during the COVID-19 pandemic. All entries are featured in the virtual art gallery along with the artist statements for the winners.

Students interpreted the theme in different ways - how they visited with family and friends, found inspiration from nature, felt the pain of loss, and discovered connections through participation in peaceful protests. 

Entries were judged by five members of Georgia's art community, who considered artistic merit, interpretation of the theme, and creativity. The virtual gallery will be available on the SCSF website through the end of 2021.

Read the full article HERE.
State Charter Chatter
Academy for Classical Education Spotlight:
Jordan DeSalvo

Please join us in congratulating Charles Gaines! A senior at the Academy for Classical Education, Charles received a full scholarship to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for swimming and diving! Along with this amazing accomplishment, he will also be the first African-American to commit to a college in the sport of swimming in all of Middle Georgia.
SCSC Meetings
The next SCSC monthly board meeting is scheduled for May 26, 2021 at 10 AM. A list of upcoming meetings for 2021 can be found on the meetings page of the SCSC website.
FY21 Reporting Calendar
The State Charter Schools Commission’s (SCSC) FY21 Reporting Deadlines calendar is available on the SCSC website here. Please note that most deadlines are established by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and are subject to change. The SCSC makes every attempt to ensure that it maintains all dates as accurately as possible. However, all schools are encouraged to stay up to date of any changes to the timeline made by GaDOE. Any failure by a state charter school to meet deadlines established and enforced by the SCSC and GaDOE will be reflected in the school’s assessment through the SCSC Comprehensive Performance Framework.
Data Collections Update
2021 CCRPI Live Data Verification Tool Available in the Portal

On March 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education approved Georgia’s waiver of several accountability, school identification, and report card requirements. (For more information about the waiver, please review the 2021 Accountability Waiver FAQ 3.29.21.) Though there will be no 2021 CCRPI summary score for the state, school districts, or schools, some CCRPI-related data, such as achievement rates, participation rates, and graduation rates, for example, will still be calculated and publicly reported by Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE).

Due to this, GaDOE is providing schools and districts with a valuable accountability resource – the Live Data Verification tool. The Live Data Verification tool, available now in the CCRPI portal with demographic and attendance data and provides summary data from Student Record that updates nightly as your district updates the data. Additional Student Record data (such as students in the 2021 4-year graduation cohort) and data from Student Class data will populate in the tool in May. This tool will assist district staff and principals in verifying the accuracy of the data submitted in Student Record and Student Class before the data collections close. The accuracy of such data is critical to accurate accountability reporting.

View the user guide at your convenience.The user guide, training webinar, and webinar PPT handout for this tool are also available for download on the MyGaDOE portal.

To access the Live Data Verification tool, log on to the MyGaDOE portal, click on the CCRPI link, and then choose Live Data Verification. For help accessing the portal and with any functionality issues, contact the GaDOE Information Systems Customer Support Center at 1-800-869-1011 or Contact the GaDOE accountability specialist assigned to assist your district with questions regarding the data.
Funding & Professional Development Opportunities
2021 National Charter Schools Conference
Registration is open for the 2021 National Charter Schools Conference. The conference will be held virtually June 20-23. Here are more details and a link to register. You can also complete this survey on what, and who, you want to see at NCSC21.

GaDOE Professional Learning Catalog
The Georgia Department of Education released its latest professional learning catalog. The catalog is available at the link here Professional Learning Catalog from the Georgia Department of Education. 
Job Opportunities
Georgia Charter Schools Association

GCSA is seeking candidates for a Director of Grassroots Advocacy.
State Charter Schools Commission |
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The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) is a state-level, independent charter school authorizing entity. The SCSC has the power to approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, nonrenew, or terminate state charter school contracts in accordance with Georgia law.
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