Marietta City Schools (MCS) became one of Georgia’s first Charter Systems in June 2008. The MCS charter system includes eleven schools: seven K-5 elementary schools, one sixth grade academy, one middle school, one high school, and one grades 3-5 elementary magnet school (Marietta Center for Advanced Academics).
MCS also has an alternative program for grades 9-12 at the Marietta Performance Learning Center at Woods-Wilkins. This program is not listed as a “school” to be converted under the charter system. The school district also includes one SB 618 residential treatment center: George W. Hartmann Center. This residential treatment center operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with MCS and the Georgia Department of Education.
Through a strategic planning process begun in 2006, MCS has already implemented certain system-wide innovations. One of these is elementary school choice (“Choice Academies”). Curriculum at our elementary schools is based on the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), and enhanced by school-selected focuses:
The Choice Academies
concept extends to the middle schools; students can continue in the IB Middle Years Program
(MYP), or in the STEM magnet program
. In high school, MCS students can select from career pathways, IB diploma/certificate, dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), or early college programs.
Innovations - Charter System
- Small learning communities,
- 8th to 9th grade transition academy,
- Teacher leadership academy,
- Addition of new career pathways at the high school level,
- Exploration of horticulture, ecology, teacher preparation, and other emerging career pathways,
- Internships and early college pathways,
- Enhanced classroom experiences and authentic assessments,
- Web-based learning and assessment,
- Looping cohorts,
- Digital student portfolios,
- Teacher innovation grants and performance incentives,
- Increased individualization through differentiation,
- Use of career inventories in upper elementary and middle grades,
- Financial incentives for teaching in areas of critical need,
- Expansion of the role of School Governance Teams—converting advisory local school councils into “highly trained and high performing” governing bodies.