Charter school seeks principal

Charter school seeks principal


A local nonprofit has begun a nationwide search for the principal of their proposed charter school set to open in Canton next year.

The Ridgeland-based nonprofit SR1 will run the school. 

SR1 serves students in Central Mississippi counties from kindergarten to 12th-grade to promote college access and success, said Dorlisa Hutton, SR1 chief operating officer. 

SR1 began a nationwide search on Nov. 23 and hopes to have an elementary school principal for the SR1 College Preparatory and STEM Academy hired by the end of January for the school that will be located just north of Canton.

Hutton said the person selected to be the charter school’s principal would have the opportunity to lead Mississippi’s first science technology engineering and math charter school and set a foundation for the school.

“The principal should have the vision and career drive to turn SR1 CPSA into a National Blue Ribbon School,” Hutton said. 

What will make the school unique will be the focus on STEM subjects with project-based learning introduced at the elementary level, Hutton said.

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. Tamu Green, founder and CEO of SR1, said the organization has not yet received any taxpayer money and will raise the $7 million needed for their new building in Canton through fundraising campaigns starting in 2022. Students will not be charged tuition. 

The goal is to open a kindergarten through fifth-grade school, adding a grade each year as current students advance to the next grade. 

“First, we want to get it right, and then we can scale that if we are successful,” Green said. “We want our students to compete globally.”

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. 

SR1 expects to be able to accommodate as many as 75 students per grade.

While SR1 does not have an address, the school does have a location. Hutton said that the school will be built on about 250 acres north of Canton on Highway 51 and plan to have a building ready for kindergarten and first-grade students by August 2022 for the 2022-2023 school year.

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