BYRON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A local group is working to open a year-round charter high school in Peach County.
The Byron Peach Charter High School Association submitted a letter of intent to the Peach County Board of Education and the Georgia Department of Education, outlining its plan to establish a charter high school. If approved, this school could open as early as 2014.
Byron Peach Charter High School Association member B.J. Walker wants to build the facility next to the mayor's office at the Byron Municipal Complex, and Byron Mayor Larry Collins is in full support. There isn't a high school within Byron city limits and Collins believes a new charter would offer his residents more opportunities. The new location would be in one of the old Byron High School buildings.
"Our children go to Fort Valley on the west side of town to attend school," Collins said, "and I've worked actively to try to get a high school in our area and this seems like the way to go."
The new school will be open to all Peach County students. It would be based on a year-round model serving 9th and 10th grade at first and later expanding by grad level each year. Walker plans to enroll about 200 students the first year. The curriculum would focus on college prep and dual enrollment. Students will have to attend a mandatory study hall and community service is required.
"We're going to provide a number of classes in a framework that would prepare out students not only to get into the college of their choice, but be successful once they get there," Walker said.
Peach County Board of Education chairman Jamie Johnson confirmed the board has received the letter of intent. He wouldn't go into detail but said he isn't against charter schools.
The group plans to hold several town hall meetings to listen to residents comments, questions and concerns. The first meeting will be Feb. 21 at 6:45 p.m. at the Byron Municipal Complex and the second meeting will be March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Peach County Courthouse.