SAVANNAH, GA – October 30, 2020 – Today, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) announces that the charter school will discontinue its dual-learning model and only offer in person learning for all students beginning Monday, Nov. 2. This decision was taken in response to the overwhelming support of families opting for on campus learning, the dedicated staff of which 100 percent reported to work when the school re-opened this semester, and the toll of maintaining the dual -learning model which has adversely affected the quality of instruction and student learning.
The charter school re-opened its doors to students at the beginning of the school year on Aug. 19 and has been running with dual-learning models since this time. SCA made the decision to discontinue virtual learning to improve the effectiveness and quality of education offered to students. This decision is also supported by the fact that SCA has remained free of any COVID-19 cases since opening over two months ago. Prevention measures will continue to be rigorously enforced and include daily symptom screening, social distancing, enhanced disinfecting and sanitation protocols, and many facility upgrades including air purification systems and germicidal UV-C entryway lighting.
SCA already has approximately 70 percent of students on campus, a significant increase from 40 percent in August. The school reviewed the progress of students in both virtual and on-campus models and concluded that managing both models reduced the students’ best opportunity for successful learning outcomes of next grade level reediness.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented health and economic challenges faced by families, Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) made the decision to begin charging charter schools for transportation services during the 2020-21 school year. During these unprecedented times, SCCPSS has paid all drivers’ full salaries since schools closed in March and continues to do so even though it is not providing full student transport services to all schools. SCA was offered the option to pay SCCPSS for transportation services, but the charge of over $2,800 per day for 140 of SCA’s students was cost prohibitive.
“SCCPSS has historically provided transportation for all students in the district. Charter schools such as ours, are part of the district school system and we are disappointed that SCCPSS is not fulfilling its obligation to our students as they have in the past,” said SCA Executive Director Barry Lollis. “Sadly, some students will be unable to stay at SCA due to the recommendation of Superintendent Levett to impose this cost, which was approved by the SCCPSS Board Members elected to support all students in the district. As of today, I have not received a response from the District to my inquires related to transport details, costs, and the transportation funding SCA is entitled to according to the guidance provided by the Georgia Department of Education.”
Although SCA will not be able to participate in the high cost district transportation service, some students will be provided transportation by the District at no cost to SCA as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
SCA is a K-12 charter school which is open to all students residing in Chatham County, is funded by the public education system but retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of parents and community members. To learn more about SCA, visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org.
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The Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) was founded in Chatham County in 2013 as a lottery enrollment public charter school. SCA’s mission is to provide every child with a classical and academically rigorous education while instilling a commitment to civic virtue and moral character. SCA is committed to developing literate and articulate students who will become active, responsible members of the community and will make a positive contribution to society.