Students ring in first day at Academy for Classical Education in Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As students head back to class, kids at the Academy of Classical Education started their first day on Monday.

“When the two little guys raised the flag,” Esterine Stokes, the Dean of Instruction at ACE said. “That’s when it really hit me in the gut.”

Stokes says she’s making sure everything goes on at the school without a hitch.

The charter school is finally open after officials had to jump over several hurdles to get it completed.

“We had to do applications to the state for the charter school commission, for the local. Then we had to find a governing board, an investor, a builder,” Stokes said.

Now phase one of the 200,000 square foot buildings is finished.

“We have a very rigorous curriculum here. My 4th graders are learning Latin,” ACE teacher Tony Elder said.

More than 700 kids, grades K-8, are roaming the halls. Teachers believe it’s an opportunity to allow for them to get back to what they call classical education.

“Education, when our forefathers were being taught, there was nothing wrong with it. I don’t know why over the years, we decided to change everything,” Stokes said.

She adds some of the teachers’ goals are continuity and retention. As students advance in grade level , teachers want to see a solid foundation of what kids have learned.

“They will completely review world history three times before they graduate at different levels and different depths,” Elder said.

There are still boxes left to unpack, but staffers and volunteers are already looking ahead.

“Here we feel like discipline won’t be a problem, and that our students will be able to learn and our teachers will be able to teach and it’s going to be successful,” Darius Maynard, one of the volunteers at the school said.

Stokes says there will be three phases to the school, and they’ll progress in completion as eighth grade students advance in grade level.

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