Kiwanis Club hears about new charter academy

Published 3:02 pm Friday, February 1, 2019

Thursday afternoon Kiwanis Club hosted Cheryl Weathersby, Kylie Holley and Amy Peel to discuss the replication of Pataula Charter Academy here in Decatur County.

The replication, Spring Creek Charter Academy will open in the fall of 2019 to residents of Decatur, Miller and Seminole county and be open to students K-5th grade and possibly sixth grade, depending on the amount of applications received.

Holley explained Pataula had been extremely successful in their area, so they were asked to replicate. They already had teachers who were interested from Miller and Seminole County, which made them want to move here.

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Spring Creek Charter Academy will be a tuition-free public school, where the only criteria for enrolling is living in one of the three counties served. They will participate in the free/reduced lunch program and continue to offer all special services that traditional public schools offer such as, special education, 504 plans, gifted programs, ESOL and more.

The way they differ from a traditional public school is by hosting a student lottery. Each grade at SCCA will have two classes with 23 students max. If more than 46 students register for one particular grade level, the school will host a lottery, where they draw which students will be accepted.

Holley said at this current time they have accepted 180 applications across all grade levels, but are still receiving up to 10 a day.

SCCA realizes there is no “one size fits all” school. They understand some parents prefer public school or homeschooling. However, they believe “families and the school must work together to cultivate a strong sense of responsibility to family and the community.”

One of the ways the students learn to give back is through crew and service learning. The students do various service projects, some of which are part of their fieldwork trips. Instead of traditional field trips, students are required to take notes and dig in deep to whatever type of work they are learning about. They have ventured to Providence Canyon to stay overnight and learn about different erosion types.

The fieldwork and community work corresponds to the cross-curricular learning. If students are learning the Civil War, they will begin learning it in Social Studies and read about it in English and also incorporate it into their math program, Holley explained. Students are more likely to understand information and process it better if they can relate it to everything they do.

Holley, Weathersby and Peel are all excited to see the new students at SCCA grow before their eyes with this learning style and all the other models they have in place. They were excited to announce they now have a location to house the students. They signed an agreement Thursday for 42 acres of land on the corner of Vada and Mills Road.

They explained the building would first be modular and eventually turn into an entire school. There is still time to register for SCCA at and the women hope it is something anyone would consider for their growing child.