The atmosphere was tense at Amana Academy’s new Parent Center on Wednesday February 18 as the school’s Executive Director, Ehab Jaleel, randomly picked strips of paper out of a clear container and called out names. The names were new applicants for the Fulton County charter school’s 2014-2015 academic year. On hand for the event were parents of applicants and representatives from Amana Academy’s parent organization.
Georgia law specifies that chartered public schools that have more applicants than spaces available must conduct public admission lotteries. Amana Academy’s admissions lottery, typically held in February, was delayed by a week due to the recent school closures. With 274 applicants for 41 spots, this year’s lottery was the largest in the school’s history, even as the number of open seats is actually getting smaller.
Sherryl Hale, the school’s Student Information Coordinator, stated, “The winners were thrilled, but parents whose children were placed on the waiting list were very disappointed – especially those who were repeat applicants from pervious years. All we can tell them is to check the waiting list for changes or try next year.”
Amana Academy has capped the number of classes in grades KG-8 to just four per grade. The school’s existing families get guaranteed spots for the coming year and their recommitment rate is above 96%. As a result, the primary entry points are kindergarten and the few spaces that become available in the higher grades. “What attracts families to our school," says Jaleel, "are features such as our multi-cultural community, our global perspective, and our commitment to high academic achievement using the Harvard-based Expeditionary Learning approach.”
Based on the response this year, Amana Academy projects that its enrollment will be 750+ students in August across both elementary and middle school grades.
Amana Academy is a Fulton County
chartered public school serving 700 students in grades K-8. Founded
on the principles of stewardship and responsibility, the school is
incorporated in the state of Georgia as a non-profit charter school and is
located in Alpharetta, Georgia. Amana’s unique set of educational approaches
centers on the Harvard-based Expeditionary Learning model and is focused on
fulfilling Amana’s mission of preparing students for high academic achievement
beyond what they think possible, so that they become active contributors to
building a better world. Amana Academy has been recognized as the 2011
Georgia Charter School of the Year by the Coca-Cola Foundation, and it received
a STEM Education Dissemination Award by the Georgia Department of Education in
2012. The school was ranked the #1
Middle School in Georgia in 2010 by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and
awarded an Annie E. Casey Foundation Grant, among many other honors and awards.
Amana Academy students reside
primarily in Alpharetta and Roswell and the school is open to all students who
are eligible to attend Fulton County Public Schools during the specified open
enrollment period without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender,
religion, disabling condition, or English proficiency. Amana Academy is a proud
member of the Georgia Charter
and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on
Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). For more
information, visit www.amanaacademy.org or 285 South Main Street, Alpharetta GA 30009.