The official opening of the permanent campus of Gwinnett County Acceleration Academies (GCAA) in Duluth, GA, drew media attention, as reporters shared the news of a new program that can help students who haven’t found success in traditional high schools earn their diplomas and move on to brighter futures.
“High school dropouts getting a second chance thanks to new Gwinnett Co. Schools program,” reported WSB-TV in a feature on the Sept. 26, 2023 ribbon-cutting ceremony held to introduce the program, which operates in partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts was among the educational leaders who spoke at the event. Watts told the TV station he is happy that Acceleration Academies can help his district offer opportunities to all kinds of learners.
“I do believe that partnerships are part of our work. We cannot do this work by ourselves,” said Watts. “We know that Acceleration Academies will provide us with another option for us to catch them up — certainly to make them successful once they leave us.”
Shamyiah Lewis, a member of GCAA’s first-ever graduating class, recounted how she had moved from New York to Georgia halfway through her senior year and felt uncomfortable joining a class that had been together for years at a traditional high school. At GCAA, she was able to pursue a personalized path, enjoy one-on-one support from caring educators and earn the diploma she hopes will carry her into college to study filmmaking.
“It just felt right that I was able to do this,” Shamyiah said. “This is really a good opportunity for kids who don’t work well in a (traditional) school environment.”
To watch the complete story, click here.