Charter System Plan
Community Committee Presents Charter System Plan
Posted on 10/20/2009
A citizens committee made up of parents, business representatives, teachers, and principals is recommending Floyd County Schools become a Charter System in Georgia. The group has been studying flexibility options for school systems in Georgia for the past 10 months. In June, the group recommended that the school system seek to become a Charter System and began the process to prepare a Charter System Application to be sent to the state for approval. Public Meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the board room at the Central Office Building of the Floyd County Board of Education. An executive summary and the complete charter system application can be viewed online on the system’s Web site. 

The process has been community driven from the beginning with no central level school system administrators involved in the Flexibility Study Committee as voting members. The group has also held Innovation Discussions in each school community to get teacher and community input into what our schools could look like under charter system status. The ideas generated from those Innovation Discussions were then used by the committee to develop the charter application. 

Charter System status will give the Floyd County School system freedom from state rules and regulations that are not tied to the determination of Federal AYP status. For instance, the system would be able to adjust the school calendar, student scheduling, seat time required by students to get class credit or rigid graduation requirements that may not fit the needs of all students. An item the system would not be able to alter would be state standardized testing. The CRCT tests are used in the Federal AYP determination and could not be altered. The system would be able to enjoy many of the freedoms that are currently helping to make the system’s new charter school, the Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy, a model of excellence for the state. The system would be able to structure the local education program to meet the needs or our students and our community instead of having to comply with rigid state mandates that may not be in the best interest of our children.

All school systems in Georgia will be required to make a decision to be a Charter System, an IE2 System or Status Quo System by 2013. Local control and decision making opportunities were top priorities for the Flexibility Study Committee and a main determining factor in the community committee selecting Charter System status. That component was not a part of the IE2 or Status Quo options. Charter system requires each local school to have its own governing group and moves many decisions down to the school level. The governance team would consist of parents, teachers and school staff working together to meet the needs of the children in each school. 

“Our school system has been a leader in education in Georgia and with increase flexibility to do what is best for our students and our community we can speed our academic improvement even further,” said Dr. Lynn Plunkett, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. “With our parents, teachers and community working together, we can effective propel or school system, students and community to a brighter future.” 

The Charter System application will be reviewed by the Flexibility Committee through October 26. After approval by the committee, the application will then be submitted to the Board of Education for approval on Wednesday, October 28 following the last public hearing session at 5:30 p.m. The application will then be forwarded to the state for review. The application would be approved by the State Board of Education in March or April. During the November to April time frame, the application may be revised as the system works with the state Charter Advisory Committee and the Georgia Department of Education to gain state board approval. Floyd County Schools could open as a Charter System for the fall of 2010.