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Charter Schools Network To Expand Innovative High School Program

Ivy Prep Academy high school scholars spend half of their day in a traditional classroom and the other half in a virtual classroom.
Ivy Prep Academy high school scholars spend half of their day in a traditional classroom and the other half in a virtual classroom.

Ivy Preparatory Academy Schools Network will soon quadruple the number of high school scholars served by its innovative blended curriculum of half virtual and traditional classes.

The public charter schools network, which opened one of metro Atlanta’s first blended high school programs in August, is expanding its model to serve scholars at Ivy Prep Kirkwood in DeKalb County next fall.

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, parents, community leaders, and Georgia education officials are invited to see the success of the Gwinnett County high school. A tour will be held tomorrow at Ivy Prep Gwinnett, 3705 Engineering Drive, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitors can talk to scholars, teachers, and observe classes. 

High school scholars who enroll in Ivy Prep’s blended program receive a laptop to use during the school year. Scholars take core math and language arts classes with an Ivy Prep teacher in a classroom. All other courses are taken virtually at high schools and colleges from across the country.

The connection to online courses is being offered through a partnership with Connections Academy, a cyber school. The partnership has tripled the selection of electives, foreign language and Advanced Placement courses available to scholars. Freshman who enter the program have 16 electives to choose from including computer game design and Chinese.

“The blended learning opportunity presented us with a way to not only sustain our program, but to give our girls a broader range of course work,” said Joy Treadwell, principal of IPA Gwinnett.”

A teacher reviews the progress of each high school scholar as they take online courses. 

“They are given support just like in a traditional setting,” said Victoria Hudson, executive director of Ivy Preparatory Schools Network. 

The new program has given Ivy Prep scholar Taiye Mims exposure to classes at a premier performing arts school more than 800 miles away. She is taking a music composition course online at Julliard in New York.

“I want to be a musician,” she said. “I plan to attend Princeton University.”

The experience, said Hudson, is helping scholars to take ownership for their education and making them become more responsible and engaged learners. 

“We are in an era that is all about technology,” said Hudson. “By our scholars having the opportunity to have this in a high school setting, we are preparing them for college and beyond.” 

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