Greg Ware, president of Ware Prep Academy of Atlanta Inc., told the council Monday that North Georgia School of Excellence, if granted a charter by the school district, would offer a kindergarten through eighth-grade program providing a sports management curriculum to Cherokee County students.
The company, which Ware said was a nonprofit organization, is petitioning for a charter for the proposed school with the Cherokee County School District.
School district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said Tuesday that district staff and the school board attorney are in the midst of their analyses of the school’s petition.
“The staff has been in contact during this review process with the petitioner, who has been very willing to work with the school district to modify the petition as needed in response to concerns related to issues such as accountability, finances, governance and transparency,” Jacoby said.
Ware, a Canton resident, said the school would be the first program of its kind anywhere in the country and would focus on project-based learning for up to 260 students.
“We want to bring something that kids would be excited about,” Ware said, adding the program would touch on all areas of sports and include experimental learning opportunities with sports professionals.
He said he and his colleagues have specifically targeted cities with populations of less than 20,000 and may approach other cities with the idea.
“We just wanted to introduce ourselves to (the council) to see if our organization would be a good fit for their future plans,” Ware said.
Ware requested council members to write letters to the district in support of the program.
Mayor Tim Downing said he is supportive of charter schools and would take up Ware’s consideration.
“I think the use of charter schools is putting the free market system into education,” Downing said. “In a lot of ways, that’s probably a big part of what’s wrong with education is that we’ve done it one way and only one way and there’s nothing competing to show other ways of learning and charter schools are bringing that to the table.”
As soon as the analysis process is complete, a recommendation will be made by Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo to the Board of Education, Jacoby said.
Also at the work session, the council:
* Discussed information provided by City Clerk Karen Norred on a resolution to request local legislation to call for a referendum in November 2014 to provide for an ad valorem tax exemption for permanently medically disabled residents. Norred suggested the cap be up to $200,000 for homes with an assessed value of over $80,000.
* Norred discussed partnering with Holly Springs Elementary School and North Metro Waste for the “Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge.” Orginally the council discussed entering the program’s “Most Innovative Ideas” contest this year, but because of the Friday deadline, will wait until next year.
* City Manager Rob Logan presented two proposed agreements with the Georgia Department of Transportation: a nondiscrimination agreement and a Title VI assurances agreement, with both templates provided to Logan and Norred during a meeting with GDOT officials.
* Discussed appointing Matthew Offenberg to the Downtown Development Authority.
n Discussed the rental rates for J.C. Mullins Field. Logan said the city charges $25 per hour for tournament use and does not charge for practice use. He recommended keeping the rates the same. Councilmember Mike Zenchuk said space in the area is very limited and suggested also charging for practice time.
* Discussed adding streets to the local maintenance and improvement grant resurfacing project, including the addition of Brookhaven Way, Brookhaven Lane, Ash Street and top-coating Crescent Circle. The council also discussed restriping Holly Street crossing over Holly Springs Parkway to the Cherokee County line. Downing said there will be funds available in SPLOST IV for the additional projects.
* Discussed a surplus of additional equipment, including: a Sharp 25” Color TV, a DVD player, a Dell desktop and two laser printer, a Xerox laser printer, an Optiquest 15” CRT Monitor, a Roland Sign Maker, a Brother fax machineand various other equipment.
* Ron Carter, information technology technician, proposed selling the city’s old telephone system to the highest-bidding telephone refurbishing company and to use eBay to get the most return on other surplus equipment.
* Nancy Moon, community development director, discussed an application to rezone a tax plat at the corner of East Cherokee Drive and Hickory Flat Highway to general commercial and to remove a 200 stipulation that referenced the wrong tax plat.
* Moon also discussed a proposed text amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance to clarify size requirements for commercial real estate signs. She said the addition would designate signs could be no more than 32 feet in width and it has no specific height requirement, but council could add that designation. The ordinance does regulate signs can be no taller than 15 ft.
* Added to the agenda was a proclamation presented by Councilmember Dee Phillips to recognize the first week in May as National Nurses Week.
Immediately following the work session, a special called meeting was held. The council approved the surplus of additional equipment, the alternate methods of surplus equipment liquidation and the National Nurses Week proclamation.