Amana Academy, Inc. has a 15-year track record of empowering students to go beyond what they think possible, to not only achieve exceptional academic results, but to also go on to lead a better world with intercultural understanding and fluency as critical-thinking changemakers. Our flagship K-8 school in Alpharetta serves 800 Fulton county students who are wonderfully diverse in ethnicity, race and economic status.
Answering several requests to replicate our model in other areas of Georgia, Amana submitted a charter petition to the State Charter Schools’ Commission for a 2nd campus in West Atlanta. In the search for a fitting location, Amana’s Executive Director, Ehab Jaleel, reached out to Amy Dosik, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta (GSGA) .
Immediately adjacent to the GSGA headquarters is 240-acre Camp Timber Ridge, a summer camp for Girl Scouts in the metro-Atlanta area, complete with a dining hall/cafeteria, STEM makerspace, classroom facilities and more. During the summer months it is bustling with children participating in adventure activities and STEAM projects; but the other 10-months of the year it sits empty.
Together, Amana and GSGA wondered what it could look like for a charter school to share that space during the school year. We recognized that the educational philosophy of Amana and its goals for its new campus align with many of the learning and development objectives of the Girl Scout movement, as well as Girl Scouts’ long-term goals for the use of Camp Timber Ridge as a community resource. We believe colaborative use of Camp Timber Ridge by Girl Scouts and Amana West has the potential to create a new community resource for building STEM interest, confidence and competence in youth in an area of Georgia with few existing STEM resources. Further, the use of Camp Timber Ridge as a charter school learning environment provides a unique opportunity for environmental education and social-emotional development in the outdoors.
By locating in Mableton, and with a statewide attendance zone, we expect our service area to primarily include the west Atlanta neighborhoods of Carey Park and Bankhead/Bolton, as well as South Cobb and South Fulton Counties. Amana plans to provide bus service from Carey Park and surrounding areas to the new location. Pending funding, bus service will also be provided between South Fulton and the new location.
ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS
Charter schools like Amana are intended to be crucibles of innovation, with the autonomy to try new things and implement programs that have the potential to reform our outdated education system. At the same time, we are held accountable by our authorizers to outperform the district and the state on metrics such as standardized tests and school culture (i.e., behavioral outcomes).
Amana’s innovations are rooted in:
- Our nationally Credentialed EL Education framework (an educational reform model that was born out of a collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound)
- Our GaDOE Certified Expeditionary STEM program
- Our nationally recognized Culture & Character program that encourages a “We Are Crew, Not