GEORGETOWN, Del.- Sussex County has only one charter school, the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences. The school, which is for grades 5 through 8, has been in Georgetown for 12 years. Now it is expanding because its charter was recently modified to accommodate high school students.
Sussex Academy is looking to give students an option for high school and the students are ready for their middle school halls to lead them to high school.
"It'll be something new and different and we're going to get a better education than anywhere else," said seventh grader Rachel Wediman.
Sussex Academy is gearing up to double enrollment, by adding a high school, with grades nine through 12.
"If we look at some of the statistics within Sussex County, we will learn that perhaps in contrast to New Castle County we don't have as many students who go onto a four-year institution nor that stay in a four-year institution," said Sussex Academy Director Patricia Oliphant.
Of the 735 Sussex County seniors who went to college last year, only 16 percent went to a four-year institution.
"I just want him to be pushed and challenged like he has been in middle school," said Andi Davis about her eighth grade son. "I hear a lot of students once they get into high school after having been here, they talk about how easy high school is, and college, so I'd like to see him be pushed to do even more."
Parents like Davis will enroll their kids into the new school. It will start in phases: next fall the ninth grade will open, adding one grade a year, up to 12th grade. To move forward, the school is raising $10 million in funds.
"We are starting a campaign to raise the money necessary to build the school and buy the land if we have to," said Joe Schell, a member of the school's board. "It's going very well in the initial phases. We started that the middle of April. It's going to be a four-year process of raising the funds. We have a good start, but we have to have a really good finish too."
Schell said the school is a must have for Sussex County and the students are anxious for it to become a reality.
"When we get to high school we're pretty much going to be rocking the other classes," said eighth grader Bryant Vazquez.
The new Sussex Academy will accept its first class in 2013 and eventually serve 425 high schoolers from all over the county.
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