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Possible charter school in Forsyth County gets a name
Superintendent: Title reflects what were trying to do
Bearden - photo by FCN file photo

CUMMING — Forsyth County residents can now call the proposed chartered college and career academy by its official name.

The Alliance Academy for Innovation of Cumming-Forsyth County was approved Thursday by the Forsyth County Board of Education to represent all facets of the potential school.

The school has received backing from the county commission, Cumming’s mayor and the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, among other entities.

“It’s a little long,” Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden said of the name, “but it reflects what we’re trying to do.”

Alliance was chosen to embody the partnership formed to bring the work force development academy to fruition. A governmental agreement would be required between the school system, city and county.

Contracted partnerships would also be required with the University of North Georgia and Lanier Technical College for dual enrollment and job training.

Including “academy” acknowledges a curriculum of “specialized study in a particular area,” according to Valery Lowe, director of work force development for the school district.

Career pathways not found elsewhere in the system — each public high school has at least one career academy — would be offered with a focus on high-demand, high-growth and high-wage occupations.

On-the-job training would be a focus, as would job simulations and high-tech discovery and invention centers, which brings the “innovation” aspect into play.

An official name is required as part of a grant application due by Sept. 11 to the lieutenant governor’s office for up to $3 million in funding. The Forsyth County Public Facilities Authority has offered funding for the rest of the $18 million to $22 million project.

If the timeline progresses as planned, the academy would open to up to 1,000 students in August 2018, the same year the county’s newest traditional high school, Denmark, is scheduled to open.