Located a few blocks from Norcross’ historic downtown district, North Metro Academy of Performing Arts is a K-8 Gwinnett County Charter School and currently taking applications for K – 6th graders for the 2014 – 2015 school year. The Academy will reportedly integrate performing arts into a rigorous Common Core-based curriculum, providing students the opportunity to develop unique interests, uncover hidden talents, experience satisfaction in accomplishments, gain a sense of responsibility and pursue education as a way of life through educational programs tailored to their own specific needs.
According to Beauty Baldwin, the first African-American female school superintendent in Georgia and a past teacher and principal, educators have spent years investigating strategies to keep students engaged in school and to find ways to encourage drop-outs to return.
“It is so important that we educate our children in order for them to become successful producers rather than users,” commented Baldwin. “We have yet to find the answer; however, thanks to this partnership with the City of Norcross and Gwinnett County Public Schools, this new charter school offers an exciting approach that will begin to solve these challenges.” As one of the primary forces behind the school’s organization, Baldwin explains that the Academy’s organizers believe that in order to assure children complete high school and even continue with post secondary education, emphasis needs to be placed on learning as early as kindergarten and educators should help students maintain that focus as they progress through high school.
“As educators, we believe that integrating the performing arts with academics will enable us to engage and motivate students who might otherwise struggle in school, their academic achievement possibly impeded with behavioral, social or emotion issues,” said Baldwin. “The Academy will tap into each child’s talents and leverage their interest in performing arts to become successful in their academics. Performing arts will be integrated into math, science, language arts and social studies through song, movement, drama and design.”
Dr. Burrell Pope has been hired as Principal for the Academy and has been working with Mrs. Baldwin to select staff members who are gifted in some area of performance as well as certified to teach in Georgia.
“Every adult in the school will be expected to work with performing arts through teaching, directing, supervising or creating sets, costumes and other production materials,” said Baldwin. “We will also bring in community professionals to teach our performing arts instructional sections and assist with performance preparation and production during the year.” For more information, please visit http://www.northmetroacademyofperformingarts.com or call the Academy at 770-903-3400.