Tift Co. School System goes down the charter path

Tift Co. School System goes down the charter path
(WALB image)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - The Tift County board of education unanimously approved an agreement that would make it a charter school starting next year.
The superintendent says the decision has been in the works for a long time, and it's been approved by the state. 

The District's been gathering information since 2009.

There's one more week of school left, and when they come back next year the system they are a part of will be a charter school.

Superintendent Patrick Atwater says it is an exciting time because a lot of changes are in the works. Atwater says the new distinction gives the district more flexibility to decide how to run its schools. He says things like class sizes, and year and day start times can be waived from state requirements.

The district plans to consolidate the seven schools kids go to throughout their twelve years down to three.

Stacey Beckham has two sons in the system and says the move away from a continual change of buildings will help them perform better in class.
"Knowing that they are going to be in the same school means they will thrive. They've got a routine." 

Atwater says the change will make it easier for teachers to meet student's needs as well. "The teachers don't get to know the students like we would like them to until the third or fourth month of school. And then they are not in the same building to tell the seventh grade teachers 'hey you really need to plan for Patrick for this type of instruction."

He says the charter system will help the district focus on incorporating individualized learning and technology into the classroom…

Beckham says it is all something she's glad her children can be a part of.

Atwater says mini school boards made up of parents, teachers and community members will make decisions at each school shortly after elections in August.

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