Chamblee Charter High School is an award-winning conversion charter school in DeKalb County, Georgia. This website follows our progress as our team of teachers, parents, and community members create a renewal petition for the 2016-2017 school year.
A bit of history
The original conversion charter was formed in 2001 to offer more rigorous math curriculum and preserve the seven period day as the county was mandating the move to a block schedule. To date, the charter has been renewed several times, and with each renewal we have been able to continue to innovate to meet the learning needs of our students rather than always being required to adopt county material if it did not meet the CCHS academic standards. The diversity of the student body that is created by the fact that Chamblee Charter HS draws students from the entire county (charter applicants, magnet program students, attendance area) is a tremendous asset
and has been able to evolve due to the continuation of our charter status.
Our charter expires at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. You can find our current charter here. The process to renew our Charter actually began over three years ago. However, this renewal cycle is quite different than the previous process. In the past, the charter made CCHS accountable for student performance in exchange for waivers from DeKalb County School policies. Now, the Georgia Department of Education (GADoE) requires that all conversion charter schools (like CCHS) must be autonomous to continue operating as a charter. CCHS must identify areas where the school will have greater responsibility for budgeting, scheduling and personnel. It is an exciting opportunity to take our success and achievement to the next level.
Proposed Charter Petition
This is an opportunity to seize some exciting possibilities and move forward together.
We are proposing 3 unique features for our charter school to be developed and implemented over the next 5 years:
- STEAM: Students will be able to concentrate on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. We will be certified by Georgia as a STEM school, but will also focus on the performing arts, literary arts, and visual arts.
- Mastery Learning System: Students will not be limited by taking a class at one pace. They will be able to have shorter and longer time periods to master standards according to their needs.
- Participatory Governance: So that we can maximize engagement, innovation and buy-in, we will have a tri-cameral system of governance in addition to a Governing Board of committed professionals who will have fiduciary responsibility for the school. Teachers and staff; students; and parents and community will all have the ability to initiate, research and propose new policy, which will then be presented to the Principal and Governing Board.
Didn’t We Vote on this Last Year?
Yes! CCHS parents and faculty voted last September to approve the charter petition, and it was submitted to DCSD in October. However, major changes in Georgia Board of Education charter school policy were made after submittal. The DCSD Charter Division and the CCHS Governance Council agreed that deadlines for the 2014 petition cycle wouldn’t provide enough time for DCSD and CCHS to clarify the impacts of these changes. CCHS requested a one year extension and now we are submitting a renewal petition in the 2015 cycle.
That’s why we have to vote again! Another formal vote is required because it is a new petition cycle and the petition had to be rewritten to match the new format from DCSD.
Is the 2015 Petition the same as the 2014 Petition?
Essentially, yes! The same 3 innovations are proposed, with more information provided to strengthen the petition. The petition clearly states that CCHS employees will be DCSD employees. While DCSD has not yet revised its charter school policy to align with the State revisions last fall, we have tried to balance State policy with available guidance from DCSD to create a petition that will give CCHS the autonomy to innovate academically and organizationally and to be governed by a talented and responsive Governing Board.