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June/July 2009

Marietta Charter School
A School of Choice
by Carrie Whitney

Wesleyan School  
Many parents may think only private schools offer greater choice in education. But Marietta Charter School continues to disprove this notion. As a public school Marietta Charter must meet state curriculum standards, but as a charter school, it also may supplement this curriculum with programs designed for its own students and communities.

Marietta Charter School strives to achieve excellence within a diverse community and create responsible, respectful students while inspiring a love of learning. This love of learning is fostered through the ideas that all children can learn and that the students, families and school all share responsibility for a child’s success. Opened in 2006 in a newly renovated $3 million facility, Marietta Charter is no stranger to helping students achieve that success.

“Our school was recognized this year as third out of 1,400 schools in the state to make the highest growth in reading for the second- and thirdgraders,” says principal Christy Tureta. “We also hosted a visit from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and received a positive, commending report.”

As a charter school, Marietta Charter is an independently operated public school, which means funding comes from tax dollars. However, while charter schools must meet the same academic requirements as traditional public schools, they also are directly accountable to parents. But parents must also be accountable; they are encouraged to volunteer at least 20 hours per academic year.

Students who live in the Marietta city limits can attend Marietta Charter School and must provide their own transportation as well as wear the school uniform. Students experience bright and cheerful classrooms equipped with cutting-edge technology, a gym, a library and an art room.

The campus of Marietta Charter was specifically designed to facilitate the innovative Project CHILD (Changing How Instruction for Learning is Delivered) method, which required a significant investment in technology and infrastructure. In fact, Marietta Charter is the only Project CHILD school in Georgia. Project CHILD students have the same three teachers (who specialize in reading, writing and math) for three years. Technology is a major component of the program, and every classroom has five computers, a PolyVision interactive whiteboard and a printer.

The technology component is paired with an accelerated reading program, Everyday Math, AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science), the Kodaly music program, physical education and character education. Beginning in kindergarten, students also learn vital organization skills to foster independence. Extracurricular activities include cheerleading, soccer, piano, art, chess and tutoring.

The school is operated by Imagine Schools, an organization composed mostly of teachers that operates public charter schools nationwide. As an Imagine School, Marietta Charter is guided by six measures of excellence: parent choice and satisfaction, academic achievement, economic sustainability, character development, shared values and new school development.

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