ENROLLING KINDERGARTEN, 1ST, 2ND GRADE - See the Registration Page!
Westside Gathering at the park - Westside parents are meeting each Sunday at 4pm. Come join us at the West Highlands playground and get to know other Westside Atlanta Charter School families!
ANNOUNCING THE HIRING OF OUR FOUNDING PRINCIPAL
We are excited to announce the hiring of Westside Atlanta Charter School’s founding principal – Pete Settelmayer. Pete is an experienced and passionate educator who loves children and has a gift for creating and fostering a positive school culture based on mutual respect and teamwork among teachers, parents and students. He began his career in education as a teacher at Sarah Smith Elementary School, and then served as the administrator in charge of the Morris Brandon Primary Center from 2007 to 2011. More recently, Pete has served as the principal of Dobbs Elementary School since 2011
Pete has a Bachelor of Science, Education, from Georgia State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and a Master of Science in Urban Educational Leadership, also from Georgia State. He has also completed Georgia State’s certificate program in Educational Leadership.
Beyond these more formal descriptions of Pete’s experience and educational background, he also possesses the character and demeanor that will lend itself to a wonderful school atmosphere. Before becoming an educator, Pete worked for the Walt Disney Company, and once you get to know him, you’ll see that he brings that same sense of wonder, imagination and fun to the school environment. In sum, we think he’s one of the best educators and leaders around, and we couldn’t be more excited about introducing him to you.
Please be on the lookout for upcoming invitations to prospective parent and community gatherings in the New Year. We can’t wait for you to meet Westside’s new principal!!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Westside Atlanta Charter School (“WACS”) is a recently approved charter school that will serve Atlanta’s Westside community beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
What grades does WACS serve?
We will begin in the fall of 2013 with kindergarten through 2nd grade, and we plan to grow by one grade each year until we serve kindergarten through 8th grade. How big will WACS be? Not that big. We will have two classes for each grade, with approximately 20 children in each class. In other words, we’ll open our doors for the 2013-2014 school year with approximately 120 children (40 kindergarteners, 40 1st graders and 40 2nd graders).
Where is WACS located?
We are located in the West Highlands neighborhood at 1903 Drew Drive, Atlanta GA 30318. We’re approximately two miles or less from most neighborhoods on the Westside of Atlanta (defined roughly as the 30318 zip code).
I’d like to apply my child for enrollment at WACS for the 2013-2014 school year?
See the Registration page.
I’d like to submit my resume for consideration as a WACS employee?
See the Careers page.
What does WACS do in the classroom?
WACS has a student-centered learning approach that implements contextualized project-based learning with a defined focus on building leaders prepared to serve their local community. If you’d like to know more about student-centered learning, just ask us. We’d love to talk with you about it.
Does WACS have any unique educational partnerships?
We’re glad you asked. WACS has developed a significant partnership with the Atlanta Speech School, a leader in language development and literacy in Atlanta since the 1930s. Specifically, the Atlanta Speech School’s Rollins Center for Language and Learning (the “Rollins Center”) will provide WACS with regular teacher training and professional development, and will work directly with our principal and our full-time literacy coach to ensure that consistent and effective application of Rollins Center methodologies are regularly applied in the classroom. The Rollins Center has a strong track record as a professional development program that partners with public school systems and individual schools to provide teachers with innovative training, mentoring, and coaching, so that children will develop into proficient readers. Notably, the Rollins Center has achieved success working with students from both low-income and high-income backgrounds, both of which are characteristic of the diversity on the Westside. We also plan to offer a summer enrichment program in partnership with the Rollins Center that will be open to APS students and teachers from other schools.
Do you have to pay to attend WACS? Is it a private school?
WACS, like all charter schools, is a public school that is funded in the same way as traditional public schools. Attendance at WACS is free of charge.
How do you decide which students can attend WACS?
Because WACS is a public school, our enrollment is open to any family that lives within the Atlanta Public Schools system, regardless of academic ability, financial capacity or any other factor. In the event that there are more applicants than available spaces at WACS, enrollment will be decided by lottery.
If WACS is a public school, then how is it different from a traditional public school?
While a charter school is publicly-funded and enrollment is open to anyone in the district, a charter school is locally controlled. WACS is governed by a local board that consists of your neighbors. WACS was formed by families that live in the Westside community of Atlanta. Eight of our nine board members live in Westside neighborhoods, including Grove Park, Dupont Commons, Adams Crossing, West Highlands, Glenlocke Grove, and Underwood Hills. We’re passionate about being an active participant and contributor to a vibrant educational atmosphere in our community.
How does WACS feel about the other schools on the Westside?
We LOVE the other traditional public schools on the Westside and want to actively work to support their efforts. Our community is most likely to thrive when we have multiple schools operating at their very best, offering families meaningful choices that allow them to find the best educational fit for each child, whether that is with WACS or one of the other traditional public schools in our community.
What will the average WACS student look like?
We don’t know. Look around our community and you’ll see a very broad range of people. We LOVE the beautiful diversity of families that live on the Westside, and we’re committed to actively creating and fostering a school environment that is welcoming and supportive of children representing various ethnicities, races, income-levels and academic abilities.