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Utopian Academy For The Arts| Georgia Approved Charter Middle School » HISTORY

UAFA HISTORY

1995

Beginning in 1995 to prepare for the 1996 Olympic games, Atlanta began the process of demolishing housing authority apartments throughout the city. Over a ten year period, this continued and majority of those families were relocated into Clayton County, GA.

2008

In 2008, the state of Georgia and our nation witnessed the Clayton County Schools District lose its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the second U.S. district in 40 years to lose accreditation. The accreditation loss and the removal of the board members generated anger and concern about the fate of the 52,000 students in the largely black district’s 59 schools. Additionally, as a result of accreditation lost, there was a significant increase in the number of students dis-enrolling from district schools.

2009

Recognizing the need for education reform and increased charter school offerings in Clayton County, school founder Artesius Miller began to develop a founding board of directors.

2010

In 2010, C-TRAN, the county’s proprietary public transportation system dissolved. Also during this time, MARTA (Metro Atlanta’s Public Transportation System) discontinued services to/from Clayton County.

2011

Utopian Academy for the Arts charter application denied by the Clayton County School Board. 7-1 Vote

2012

1. Seeking alternatives, families that don’t have the option of moving from Clayton County and/or enrolling their children in private schools, seek public school choice options including charter schools. Unfortunately, in Clayton County, the demand for charter schools significantly exceeds its supply. There are currently only 3 charter schools within the County. The Clayton County School Board has not approved any charter schools within the last six years. However, as evidenced by the 2012 November general election, Clayton County voters had the highest percentage of Georgians to support the Charter School Constitutional Amendment (HR 1162), with a total of 71% in favor!

2. Utopian Academy for the Arts charter application denied by the Clayton County School Board.  4-2 Vote

 

2013

1. Utopian Academy for the Arts charter application denied by the Clayton County School Board. 4-3 Vote

2. Utopian Academy for the Arts was approved by the State Charter Schools Commission on October 30, 2013; the only school approved out of 16 initial statewide applications!Recognizing the need for education reform and increased charter school offerings in Clayton County, seven individuals were brought together by Founder, Artesius Miller to create Utopian Academy for the Arts. Initially, Utopian Academy was founded on the premise to service the educational needs for Clayton County’s most “at-risk” population, African American and Latino teenage males. However, with changes in federal education laws including Title IX, Utopian Academy for the Arts revised its enrollment plan to include female students.

2014

The rationale for the enrollment plan of Utopian Academy for the Arts is three-fold and is supported by research. We seek to provide a significant educational benefit of serving as the county’s only charter middle school, and the only Clayton County public school that uses a single-gender instructional approach. Additionally, our school is the only public school to offer a comprehensive educational program in the dramatic, media, and culinary arts.

2015

House Bill 372, “The Utopian Academy for the Arts Act” is introduced during the 2015 General Assembly. This bill prohibits additional requirements of a charter school to operate when it has passed state facility inspections and received a certificate of occupancy. This bill will ensure that no other authorized charter school experiences the roadblocks and challenges Utopian Academy faced at the beginning of our first school year.
House of Representatives Passed (170-0 Vote).Georgia Senate Passed (169-0). Signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on April 21, 2015