Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics’ Superintendent speaks out

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF)–  The Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics, a charter school in Hephzibah, Georgia, has been in operation for just two years. Georgia schools are graded each year based on performance, including Charter Schools, and the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics failed two components this year.

Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics wrapped up its second school year today.

NewsChannel 6 spoke with parents, and despite the negative report card grade, they say G.S.I.C. has been nothing short of life-changing for their kids.

“I would not have my child in any other school,” Lynn Dillard, a parent at G.S.I.C. said.  Dillard’s daughter has attended Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics since it began operation in 2015.

Jody Boulineau, G.S.I.C. Superintendent said the charter school commission evaluates each school every year. The evaluation is based on three categories: finances, operations and academics.

“We passed our finances– we got a passing score in that. We missed our operations by just a few points. We were good in that– not as good as we’d like to be. Then our academics, that’s where we were behind the most,” Boulineau said.

According to the Georgia School Reports, the charter school’s overall performance is higher than just 10% of Georgia schools. Only 38 percent of its 3rd grade students are reading at or above their grade level. Boulineau said many factors weigh into these numbers.

“If we had a six grader, they would have been five years in a county school, and one year with us. That would be true of all grades. So to have a student that may be struggling when they come to us, to have that turn around, that doesn’t always happen in one year’s time,” Boulineau explained.

G.S.I.C. brought in Paula Kaminski as interim principal to identify and strengthen areas of weakness.

“The lexiles in 3rd and 5th grade were below standards. We are addressing that by looking at our delivery in subject areas. We are looking at how we can be more effective in the classroom. How we can help parents help their students at home,” Kaminski said.

“Greg Stephens who is with the Charter School commission said as a second year school, you guys are exactly where you need to be. Are there things you need to fix? Absolutely. Are there things youe need to strengthen? Absolutely,” Boulineau said.

The school’s year five evaluation will determine whether the charter is revoked or reissued.

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