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School Choice Fair to Offer Parents Information about Charter School Enrollment

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 1807 Memorial Drive, Atlanta SE, Atlanta, GA 30317  See map
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Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood has separate schools for girls and boys in grades K-9 who live in DeKalb County.
Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood has separate schools for girls and boys in grades K-9 who live in DeKalb County.
ATLANTA- Parents searching for educational options for their kids can learn more about metro Atlanta's public charter schools at the 2014 School Choice Enrollment Fair Saturday.

A dozen charter schools will be represented at the inaugural School Choice Fair, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood, 1807 Memorial Drive. The event is being sponsored in partnership with the Georgia Charter Schools Association. Parents will have the opportunity to visit several schools in a day without having to drive from campus to campus. More than 200 people are expected to attend the event.

Participating charter schools will exhibit information about their academic programs, sports teams, clubs, school culture, and student achievement.  School officials also will be present to share information about the enrollment process.

“We want parents to be able to make informed decisions about where to send their children to school,” said Kendra Shipmon, School Choice Fair organizer and principal of Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls. “The School Choice Enrollment Fair will allow parents to explore metro Atlanta charter schools, learn more about their innovative programs, and ask questions to determine the best fit for their children’s education.”

The list of participating schools is still growing. The roster includes: Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School; Fulton Leadership Academy: Intown Academy; Ivy Prep Gwinnett; Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls; Ivy Prep Young Men's Leadership Academy; Latin Academy; Provost Academy; Utopian Academy of the Arts; and Wesley International Academy. The schools serve students in the City of Atlanta, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties.

Fair organizers said the event will help parents to understand their right to exercise school choice in Georgia. The fair will begin with a welcome program that features school shopping tips from experts, and talks by parents and students attending metro Atlanta charter schools.

About 230, 000 students - nearly 14 percent of the public school population - attend a Georgia charter school, according to the state Department of Education. Half of those students are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free and discounted lunch.

Charter schools are public schools with the ability to adapt their academic programs to meet the changing needs of students. Charter operators have contracts with the state that grant them the flexibility to bypass restrictive education laws and use innovative strategies to improve student achievement. In exchange for flexibility, Georgia’s charter schools pledge to out-perform their local districts on standardized tests.

Georgia has more than 300 charter schools. They include cyber schools, themed-schools, and single-gender campuses.

Ivy Prep, the hosting school network, is in its sixth year serving students. The single-gender public charter school network has a campus in Gwinnett that serves girls in grades 6-12 and separate schools for boys and girls in DeKalb that serve students in grades K-9.

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