Canton charter school opens for 2022-2023 year
Following the hiring of their first headmaster, SR1 College Preparatory and STEM Academy officials announced Wednesday that they will be open for the 2022-2023 school year in Canton meeting in a local church while the campus is under construction.
It will be the state’s first and only public STEM Charter School for kindergarten through fifth grade Tamu Green, SR1 Founder and CEO, said. The first school year will begin with kindergarten and first grade classes.
The SR1 CPSA’s mission is to prepare all students for success in college and beyond.
“The United States suffers from persistent differences in achievement between groups of students defined by race/ethnicity or family income, and our students also rank well behind those in economically competitive countries on international tests,” Green said. “We must continue to invest in education in order to create a system that is more equitable and that produces American students who are more competitive in the global marketplace for talent.”
SR1 is a Ridgeland based non profit.
Documents approving the school with the Mississippi Charter School Authorization Board were finalized in December 2020.
Charter schools are alternative forms of public schools run by private nonprofit organizations.
The school will operate off of both privately raised funds and taxpayer money.
After a nationwide search that started in Nov. 2021, SR1 has selected Kymberley Hutchinson to lead the school. Hutchinson is currently in San Antonio, Texas, and relocating to Central Mississippi to serve as the SR1 CPSA Provost. Hutchinson has degrees in business administration and masters in education. She has an extensive background in STEM education and school leadership positions.
“I believe the vision for SR1 CPSA reflects my philosophy of education; creating a place where imagination and a rich curriculum promotes a desire for our students to become lifelong learners,” Hutchinson said.
The CPSA will be a high-performing, innovative public charter school on a creative campus, Green said. The school is planned to be located on SR1’s Multidisciplinary Education Campus in rural Madison County, just north of Canton.
“We want to build a multidisciplinary educational campus that is energy efficient and consists of clean air buildings and outdoor learning,” Green said.
The vision for the school includes a sprawling $30 million campus with buildings connected by outdoor walking paths. This vision has been shown in renderings by WK Architects P.C. of Chicago.
While SR1 does not have an address, the school does have a location.
The school will be built on about 250 acres north of Canton on Highway 51.
While the buildings are under construction, classes will meet in local church buildings in the first school year during campus construction.
“We are thankful church members are opening their doors and providing classroom space during the inaugural year for the CPSA,” Green said. “This is a community effort, and we want to thank the community members for embracing us and our vision for creating a STEM school where all students can grow and learn.”
Hutchinson said the goal is for the CPSA to be a National Blue Ribbon School where elementary students of all economic, social, and cultural backgrounds will learn, thrive, and stay on an educational path to attend college.
“My goals are simple in nature, build a community of innovative educators that foster questioning in the classroom that drives students to learn more everyday and provide students with STEM rich experiences that develop their 21st Century skills,” Hutchinson said. “In addition, have our school, educators, and students recognized by the community and state.”
The SR1 CPSA is a public charter school with no tuition costs. It is free for students. The school is open to all students from the following areas:
• Canton Public School District
• Hinds County School District
• Holmes Consolidated School District
• Jackson Public School District
• Leake County School District
• Yazoo City Municipal School District
• Yazoo County School District
• Student of School District that is “C” of below
Each grade will have 75 students with three teachers and classrooms per grade. If more than 75 students register for any grade level, then CPSA will hold a lottery for entrance to the school. To learn more and apply for the school, visit the website https://www.sr1cpsa.org/admissions.
A board will oversee the school. Board members are currently being selected. Hutchinson and SR1 leaders are hiring teachers and other staff members.
“Mississippi can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education,” Green said. “Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do.”
To learn more about the SR1 College Preparatory STEM Academy, visit the website https://www.sr1cpsa.org.