Receiving these funds is a great opportunity for our school! This will help us get the additional resources needed in order to provide a state of the art, 21st century education to our students. – Davion Lewis
On Thursday, March 22, 2018, the Georgia State Board of Education voted to approve Latin College Prep Charter School an award of $675,000 in Federal Charter Schools Program Grant funds. Open to all start-up charter schools statewide, Latin College Prep was one of many public charter schools that applied for this highly competitive grant. Latin College Prep’s application, which focused on personalized instruction and the utilization of technology to improve instruction helped the school’s application to stand out from the competition and thus receive the award.
“I am deeply grateful and delighted that the State Board of Education awarded our application!” Latin College Preparatory Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school chartered by Fulton County Schools. It was founded in 2015 and currently serves students in grades 6-8. Located in the East Point community, its mission is to prepare each of its scholar for success in high school, college, and the competitive world beyond.
Although charter schools are public schools, we do not get the same funding as our traditional public district school counterparts. All additional funding helps whether it be in the form of grants or donations.The Federal Charter Schools Program Grant is a competitive grant awarded by the State Board of Education and administered by the Georgia Department of Education. Funds awarded from the grant can be used by public charter schools to purchase technology, classroom furniture, and other supplies.
I was able to catch up with Georgia charter school leader, Davion Lewis, to follow-up from his feature this time last year in EdLanta. Let’s see how he’s making success happen!
ProfessorJBA: By 2020, where do you foresee the school being academically, financially and operationally?
D. Lewis: In my recent State of the School Address I shared a number of big, audacious goals for our school. They include taking steps to realize our growth plan of serving 1500 students grades K-12 annually, becoming Georgia’s first certified Responsive Classroom school, and performing in the top 5% of all Fulton County schools. These goals will not be easily attained, but I fully expect that we will achieve them.
ProfessorJBA: If you could receive three things on your School Wish List from a donor what would they be?
D. Lewis: If I could receive three things from our wish list from a donor I’d want those things to be; 1) a financial commitment to help build our annual endowment. As you might be aware, even though charter schools are public schools, we are not funded equally as our traditional public district school counterparts. Having the annual support of a financial donor would go a long way to help us to meet our financial needs; 2) improved campus safety. Unfortunately, our school community has experienced several acts of theft and vandalism over the school year. As you can imagine it is challenging for teachers to teach and students to learn if they feel unsafe in their environment; and 3) an improved facility. Unfortunately our community is outgrowing an already older space that is in need of a facelift. I’d love for our students to be in an environment that is modern, vibrant and awe-inspiring.
ProfessorJBA: Mr. Lewis, tell us about your role as the Executive Director of Latin College Prep?
D. Lewis: As the Executive Director of Latin College Prep, I am the superintendent of the school, the chief administrative officer of the 501c3 that supports and manages the school, and the full-time paid agent who works on behalf of the Board of Directors to execute its vision. My role is primarily a strategic one. It is my job to think about the long-term success, viability, and solvency of the school and the organization. I anticipate potential wants, needs, and challenges of the organization and create solutions to address them. My role is also very external facing. Whether it be to develop partnerships, cultivate prospective donors and supporters, or to build the brand of the school, I am our chief spokesman. While I am involved in the day-to-day operational and instructional decisions of the school, my role in that regard is to provide oversight, advise and consent to our highly capable principal.
ProfessorJBA: In serving in such a huge role, how do you find balance?
D. Lewis: I’ve always been a natural at individual sports. I enjoy running because not only is it a great way to get my weekly cardio, but it is also a great way to be out in nature. Running is a great way to spend some valuable time with oneself out in the elements. I do some of my best thinking and strategizing while running. As for upcoming races, I’ll be participating with my brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Eta Lambda Chapter in the March of Dimes 5K charity run in April, our school’s 5K fundraiser in May, and the annual Divine Nine Greek 5K run in June.
ProfessorJBA: What books are you currently reading?
D. Lewis: Currently I am toggling between three books that I really do enjoy reading. I am reading 50 Myths and Lies that Threaten America’s Public Schools by David Berliner for my doctoral program. I constantly find myself rereading Leading Change by John D. Kotter for work. I find myself revisiting Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck for personal reading.
More on Davion Lewis
Mr. Davion R. Lewis is the Executive Director and Superintendent of Latin College Prep Charter School. Davion has over a decade of experience working in education, and youth and community development, and has done so in private, non-profit, and governmental agencies. He’s been a teacher, coach, school administrator, and consultant. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Bethune-Cookman University, his master’s degree at Clayton State University, and is currently a student at the University of Buffalo where is completing his Ph.D.
To learn more about Latin College Prep Charter School, please contact:
Mr. Davion R. Lewis, Executive Director
2626 Hogan Road, Atlanta, GA 30344
Office: (404) 669- 8060 / Fax: (404) 393-149/ Email: [email protected]
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.