LIVINGSTON, Ala. (WTOK) - Members of the University Charter School board completed the long- awaited process of signing the official charter letter to establish a new school in Sumter County.
The charter school in Livingston will be the first of its type in Alabama, located in a rural area and the first to be housed on a college campus.
"We have so many students leaving our county that's going to school at other places. And we feel like the charter school will keep those kids in our county and also raise the expectations of all our schools,” said Micky Smith, president of the University Charter School board. “So that's the reason why, we want all our kids to have a quality education."
The K-8th grade school will open next fall with Lyon Hall on UWA's campus serving as the temporary location.
School officials say they will look to add a grade each year and begin plans to establish a standalone building on campus by 2019.
"350 is our facility capacity. So we will not have more than 350 students in the first year,” says J.J. Wedgworth, University Charter School’s head of school. “Of course as we grow and add a grade each year, that capacity will extend upwards and top out around 500."
J.J. Wedgworth and Micky Smith were two of several people to spearhead plans to establish the University Charter School. They say they believe their board members have established a curriculum that will shape the minds of every student they encounter.
"When you work with people, you develop a bond. You develop a trust and that's what we're having on our board. We're developing a trust in each other that we're doing what's best for our county and we're moving forward," Smith says.
The University Charter School will open August 2018 for grades kindergarten through 8th grade.
Pre-registration for enrollment starts November 15th.