Charter renewed for Drew Charter School, some siblings will get enrollment preference

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 17, 2016
Dr. Charles R. Drew was the namesake of Atlanta's first charter school. A sculpture of Drew was unveiled at the school on Feb. 25, 2016. Photo provided by Drew Charter School

Dr. Charles R. Drew was the namesake of Atlanta’s first charter school. A sculpture of Drew was unveiled at the school on Feb. 25, 2016. Photo provided by Drew Charter School

This story has been updated. 

The Atlanta Board of Education on Oct. 10 unanimously voted to renew the charter for Drew Charter School in East Lake for 10 years.

In the process, Drew’s enrollment lottery changed to give less preference to siblings of Drew students. Prior to the new charter, siblings of all students received enrollment priority.

Charter schools receive more autonomy from local boards of education in exchange for increased accountability for academic performance. The changes to enrollment preference are intended to help Drew stay true to its original mission of helping underprivileged students.


Catherine Woodling, director of Communications and Marketing for the East Lake Foundation, the nonprofit that backs the charter school, said that the new enrollment lottery will consider siblings of students according to their enrollment tier. But there’s an exception that will allow for siblings of current students to receive priority enrollment.

“It will allow for all current students siblings to be in priority C for the lottery as long as they were born before Sept. 1,” she said.

Woodling said the charter renewal still needs to be approved at the state level.

“Our intention is that all siblings of current students will get into Drew in the first four years of the new charter,” Woodling said. “That’s the intention. We’ll see how that works out in the lottery depending on the enrollment and how many people apply for the lottery this year.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about enrollment priorities for siblings. The information was contained in a direct quote by Woodling, but she contacted Decaturish after the article was published to clarify. This story has been updated with the correct information. 


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