Reinvestment Fund financing is helping redevelop a former church building to create a new facility for Ethos Classical Charter School in Atlanta.
The project is being developed by Charter School Development Corporation (CSDC), a mission-driven nonprofit charter school support organization, which is acquiring and renovating the property that was owned by New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Ethos is leasing the facility.
Ethos is one of four new charter schools approved by the Georgia State Charter School Commission (SCSC), a state-wide charter authorizer, in 2018 and one of only two new charters to open within the city of Atlanta by Fall 2019. Ethos expects to serve 162 students in K-3rd grade in the 2020 school year, with plans to grow to serve 648 students by the 2025 school year.
The school is targeting enrollment from neighborhoods south of the I-20 corridor, an academically underperforming area based on the “Georgia Milestones”, Georgia’s standardized assessment system. It is expected that over 80% of students served by Ethos will qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL).
Ethos was founded by Emily White, a Building Excellent Schools (BES) Fellow since 2015. BES trains high-capacity individuals to lead high achieving, college preparatory urban charter schools. BES finds individuals and equips them with the skills and know-how to design, found, lead and sustain independent, high-performing schools in communities of need. As a BES Fellow, Ms. White is connected to a network of over 120+ school leaders in 29 cities across 19 states, educating 33,000 students. On average, BES Fellow schools outperform their district counterparts in both English Language Arts and Math. In addition, the average BES school has a higher FRL student population and enroll more students of color than the national average.
The developer is embarking on a three phase development over a five-year period to accommodate the school as it grows to its maximum enrollment of 648 students in grades K-5th. Reinvestment Fund financing is supporting the first phase and includes a participation from Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP).