April 13, 2018 10:00:46 AM
JACKSON -- Groups are expressing interest in opening 17 charter schools in Mississippi.
The state's Charter School Authorizer Board on Monday accepted letters of intent from 16 potential school operators.
Existing charter school operator RePublic Schools, which is operating two middle schools in Jackson and has an elementary school scheduled to open in the fall, proposes a high school for Jackson. An existing private high school -- Piney Woods Preparatory School -- proposes to open a charter school serving grades 5-8 in Rankin County.
Five different schools are proposed for Jackson, while three are proposed for Greenwood and two are proposed for Amite County.
In Mississippi's multistep process for approving charter schools, many fewer proposals typically move forward for final consideration. Some groups don't submit the full applications due in May, while other groups may submit applications that the board will deem incomplete in a vote scheduled in June.
The board will ultimately choose from among finalists in September.
Mississippi's process has heavily favored experienced operators in the past. Startup groups sometimes have trouble proving they have the money and institutional ability to run a school.
Five charter schools have been authorized so far. Three are now operating in Jackson, with schools in Jackson and Clarksdale scheduled to open this fall.
Besides RePublic and Piney Woods, applicants include:
■ Richard Allen Academy School of Excellence, which seeks to open a school of the same name in Cleveland in 2019, ultimately serving grades K-8.
■ Ambition Preparatory Charter School, which seeks to open a school of the same name in Jackson in 2019, ultimately serving grades K-8.
■ Girls Club & Learning Center, a repeat applicant from last year, which seeks to open GCLC Charter in Greenwood in 2019, ultimately serving grades PreK-5.
■ Gordon Turner Preparatory Academy Inc., which seeks to open Gordon-Turner College Preparatory Academy in Moss Point in 2019, ultimately serving grades 6-12.
■ KMartin Group, which seeks to open Highpoint Academy of Excellence in Gloster, ultimately serving grades K-8.
■ Argie Peters Logan STEM Academy, which seeks to open a school of the same name in Holmes County in 2019, ultimately serving grades K-5.
■ Mississippi Community Education Center, which seeks to open the Leflore County Charter School in Greenwood in 2019, ultimately serving grades K-5.
■ Mississippi Information & Technology Schools, which seeks to open Mississippi Information & Technology School in Jackson in 2019, ultimately serving grades 5-12.
■ MS Delta Academies, which seeks to open Leflore Legacy Academy in Greenwood in 2019, ultimately serving grades 6-8.
■ Randy J. Naylor Memorial Foundation, which seeks to open Memorial Preparatory Middle School in Vicksburg in 2020, ultimately serving grades K-12.
■ SR1, a repeat applicant from last year, which seeks to open SR1 College Preparatory and Stem Academy in Canton in 2019, ultimately serving grades K-12.
■ Success Prep Inc., a repeat applicant from last year, which seeks to open Success Prep Inc. Charter School in Jackson, ultimately serving grades K-12.
■ Technology Innovative for Today's Youth Inc., which seeks open two schools in 2019, Elite Academy in Amite County, ultimately serving grades K-4, and Innovative Careers and Technology Academy in Jackson, ultimately serving grades 9-12.
■ Voices for Education, which seeks to open Mound Bayou New Millennial High School in Mound Bayou in 2019, ultimately serving grades 7-12.
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