Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Huge fire guts Atlanta charter school

I was saddened to hear about a fire at KIPP WAYS school in Atlanta.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, but it's a big setback (and financial hit) for the school.  I was just down there two weeks ago and KIPP Atlanta (now three schools) is rocking!  You can watch a local TV report at: www.11alive.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=167640&catid=40.  You can donate to the school at: www.kippmetroatlanta.org/support.asp (I just donated $100).  Here's an excerpt from an article about it:


SaDarria Veasey sobbed for hours Friday when she learned that fire had gutted KIPP Ways Academy, the Atlanta middle school that is her second home.


KIPP Ways is a special school. Three hundred twenty children, most of them living in poverty, attend rigorous classes from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, on two Saturdays a month and during the summer. Teachers and administrators make home visits to meet the parents of every child. The eighth grade has a 100 percent pass rate on math and reading standardized tests.


Their classrooms burned on Friday. Atlanta Fire Department officials said Friday evening that the heating and air conditioning system on the school's roof was the cause of the fire -- and that it was accidental. Although no one was injured, hundreds of kids and parents suffered an acute loss, just a few days before Christmas break was to begin.


"I feel devastated," said Veasey, 14, whose mother is a founding staff member of the school. "I cried for a good four hours. It may feel like all of our hard work is down the drain, but we know the building is not who we are."


The academy now littered with ashes and overturned desks was ranked as Atlanta's top-performing "No Excuses" middle school by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for its success at educating kids in poverty. It is a public school founded by parents and an Atlanta teacher that trains fifth- through eighth-graders for higher education and bright futures.


Huge fire guts Atlanta charter school


By D. Aileen Dodd and Mike Morris

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

9:55 p.m. Friday, December 10, 2010


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