Community Questions for Amana Academy
What is the anticipated impact of Amana Academy West Atlanta on the adjacent neighborhood?
Amana Academy West Atlanta, a replica of Amana Academy North Fulton, will have a lasting positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. Amana Academy’s flagship school has a 15-year track record of providing high-quality education for students in Fulton County, utilizing the Harvard-based EL Education model coupled with a rigorous STEM program that emphasizes stewardship of the environment, our communities and our world. This same experience will be available at the West Atlanta campus, expanding the opportunity for students in the West Atlanta, South Cobb and South Fulton areas. This, coupled with the beautiful Camp Timber Ridge setting, will offer students a unique and engaging opportunity to build confidence and curiosity while at the same time gaining valuable critical thinking skills and hands-on, real-world exposure to STEM fields.
What steps will be taken to minimize the impact of Amana West on traffic on North Allen Road?
Amana West will open in August 2022 with 220 students in grades K-3. The school’s hours will be 7:50 AM – 3:25 PM M-Th, and 7:50 AM – 1:00 PM on Fridays. The school plans to offer 2 buses, which can accommodate approximately 120 students, and the remaining 100 students will likely carpool. Carpool would impact traffic on North Allen Road between 7:30 and 8:00 AM and between 3:20 and 3:45 PM M-Th (1:00 – 1:20 PM on Fridays). A Cobb County Police officer will direct traffic turning on to Veterans Memorial Highway. In order to minimize traffic backing up onto North Allen, the school will snake cars in the parking lot on the camp campus. Parking is not allowed on North Allen Road. There is ample parking on campus.
As the school grows, adding a grade level each year until it reaches full capacity (K-8), plans are in place to shift the traffic pattern to the Pebblebrook Road entrance.
What are the benefits to the community of having Amana Academy West Atlanta nearby?
A recent Georgia State University study suggests that having a start-up charter school nearby can increase property values over time, which leads to a higher tax base that can fund roads, sidewalks, and other community improvements. Amana offers a STEM, EL Education learning environment in an area of greater Atlanta with few STEM resources. Amana West and Girl Scouts are committed to working in long-term partnership with our neighbors through our shared commitment to community service and environmental stewardship.
What are the possible impacts to our local schools when a charter school opens?
As a school authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission, Amana Academy West Atlanta receives funding from the state Board of Education, and does not directly impact funding for local school districts. Additionally, due to Amana West’s location and statewide attendance zone, it expects to attract students from South Fulton, South Cobb and Atlanta Public Schools, as well as students that may currently attend independent or religious schools. The impact on any single school or school district is likely to be minimal.
In addition, Amana’s leadership team has a track record of collaborating with local schools to share the practices they know contribute to positive student outcomes, such as the EL Education model, hands-on STEM programming, and robust culture and character programming that builds habits of scholarship and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion.
What students are eligible to attend Amana West? How are admissions decisions made?
Amana West is a tuition-free public charter school that has a statewide attendance zone, meaning students living anywhere in the state of Georgia may apply. Amana West has a targeted enrollment of 220 students in grades K-3 for the 2022-23 school year and plans to add one grade (approximately 80-100 students) per year up to grade 8. If applications exceed targeted enrollment in a grade level, a lottery will determine admissions.
Community Questions for Girl Scouts
Why did Girl Scouts agree to this partnership?
Girl Scouts and Amana West share a common vision around child development that focuses on social-emotional as well as academic outcomes, project-based and experiential learning, and how STEM can be used to make the world a better place. We believe that by working in partnership, we can collaborate on programs and learn from each other to increase our capacity to prepare more Georgia children for success in school, careers and community life. This partnership also helps Girl Scouts improve the financial sustainability of Camp Timber Ridge by having a partner that can provide a reliable source of funding to offset the increasing operating costs of this property.
What is the financial impact of this partnership for Girl Scouts?
Girl Scouts’ partnership with Amana West will improve the financial sustainability of Girl Scout Camps to ensure that Camp Timber Ridge continues to be a vibrant outdoor programming site for many generations to come. Amana West’s complementary use of Camp Timber Ridge at times when it otherwise is not being used allows Girl Scouts to offset some of its operating expenses and reduce its operating deficit from outdoor programs. By investing in people, programs and capital improvements together, Amana Academy and Girl Scouts are using resources wisely and increasing their capacity to serve children with relevant, creative outdoor and STEM programs.
What is the environmental impact of this partnership on Camp Timber Ridge?
Both Girl Scouts and Amana West count environmental stewardship as a core value, which will guide all construction and development decisions at Camp Timber Ridge. Amana West’s investments in utility infrastructure will ensure that Camp Timber Ridge’s environmental footprint remains small. Road widening and placement of mobile classroom buildings will result in the removal of some mostly small caliper trees, which will be replanted in compliance with the Cobb County tree ordinance. Use of semipermeable paving surfaces, low voltage lighting and recycled/upcycled materials will be prioritized.
Will Girl Scouts’ ability to use Camp Timber Ridge change because of this partnership?
No! Camp Timber Ridge will continue to offer summer day camp, weekend programs and troop camping.
What is the benefit to Girl Scouts immediately and long-term?
In the first year of partnership, Amana is investing more than $2 million (through federal and local funding mechanisms) in roads, utilities infrastructure and mobile classrooms that will be able to be used by Girl Scout troops, groups, and summer campers. Over time, Amana and Girl Scouts expect to collaborate on capital investments and curriculum that will result in more robust outdoor and STEM programs for Girl Scouts attending Camp Timber Ridge all year long. Amana’s partnership also improves the financial sustainability of Camp Timber Ridge long-term.
Will Girl Scouts’ use of Camp Timber Ridge ever coincide with activities at Amana West?
Use of Camp Timber Ridge by the parties will be largely separated by time, day and season. Girl Scouts will continue its use of Camp Timber Ridge during the summer for summer camp and weekends during the school year for troop camping and other programs. Amana West primarily will use Camp Timber Ridge Monday – Friday during the school year. Occasionally, an Amana event like a fundraiser or parent enrichment session may overlap with a Girl Scout program. We have a scheduling and planning process to minimize any disruption for both parties. Camp Timber Ridge is a 270-acre property, and we believe this large capacity provides the flexibility to successfully host multiple groups simultaneously. As our collaboration grows, we also look forward to hosting joint events for the Girl Scout and Amana Academy communities.
Location at Camp Timber Ridge
Amana Academy West Atlanta will install 4 cabin structures in the Hideaway Hills area of Camp Timber Ridge. These will complement the existing structures at the camp, and will be available for use by campers when school is not in session during the summer months. In time, there are plans to build a larger, permanent structure that will complement the Girl Scouts larger master plan.
Submit your questions about Amana Academy West Atlanta here.