Frequently asked questions
What is a Charter School?
A charter school is a free public school that operates independently of the local school district.
Charter schools have been defined by the Education Commission of the States as schools that create an alternative form of public schooling. Specifically, the commission states, “The goal of charter schools is to lift restraints from public schools so they can pursue innovative teaching methods that will improve student performance. They are designed to give significant autonomy to individual schools and, in turn, to hold those schools accountable for results. A charter is essentially a contract, negotiated between those people starting the school and the official body authorized to approve the charter. The charter spells out how the school will be run, what will be taught, how success will be measured and what students will achieve. As long as the school meets the terms of its charter, it is free from many of the rules and regulations that apply to other public schools. And unlike other public schools, if the charter fails to meet those terms, the charter can be revoked and the school closes.”
Visit Georgia Charter Schools Association and Georgia Department of Education's Chart School Basics for more information.
Who can attend SKTCS?
Attendance Zone - Any student who is a resident of Chatham County and who meets the minimum age (age 5 before September 1) and grade requirements is eligible to attend.
Enrollment Priorities - SKTCS offers enrollment priority to the following categories of applicants and in the following order:
Children of employees of SKTCS
Children of SKTCS Governing Board members
SKTCS is committed to having a socio-economically diverse student body. Students who meet the requirements for economically disadvantaged status will be provided an increased chance of admission, as permitted by law. The additional “weight” for economically disadvantaged students will be calculated each year to maximize the probability that 40 percent of students newly admitted to SKTCS through the lottery will be economically disadvantaged. SKTCS will continue to use a weighted lottery and the 40 percent target for students admitted through the lottery at least until the school year following a year in which 30 percent of the students at the school are economically disadvantaged, or until no weight is necessary to maximize the probability that 40 percent of students newly admitted through the lottery are economically disadvantaged. “Economically disadvantaged” shall mean students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, whose families live below the poverty line, or whose families qualify for one or more of the following federal benefits: SNAP, TANF, WIC, or Medicaid. New student applicants may voluntarily indicate “economically disadvantaged” status on the admissions application and such status will be verified as a part of the registration process.
If a child from a family with multiple birth siblings (twins, triplets, etc.) is admitted through the lottery process, all multiple birth siblings from that family will be admitted at the time of the lottery.
If a child from a family with multiple siblings is admitted through the lottery process, all siblings from that family will be admitted at the time of the lottery if space at sibling’s grade level is available.
Where is the school located?
1709 Bull Street. Set at the corner of 34th and Bull Streets, the historic school building was built in 1905. It originally housed Benedictine College (now Benedictine Military School), as well as a parish grade school operated by Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Benedictine used the facility until 1963 when it moved to Savannah’s southside. The Sacred Heart school eventually merged with the Cathedral Day School and became Notre Dame Academy, which occupied the building from 2000 to 2015 when the school was permanently closed.
What grades does the school serve?
Currently we serve grades K-7.
What are the bell times?
School starts at 9 am and ends at 4pm. Students who wish to partake in the breakfast program may arrive at 8:30 am. Breakfast ends at 9 am. Students who are not participating in the breakfast program should begin arriving at 8:45 am. For safety reasons student should not arrive prior to 8:30 am unless accompanied by an adult. Students will be marked late at 9:01 am. School dismisses at 4 pm. Parents should begin arriving for pick-up at 3:55 pm.
Are there school uniforms?
SKTCS encourages simplicity in dress as a way to contribute to the safe and positive overall atmosphere of the school academically and socially. The simplicity of our dress code contributes to the overall school environment. SKTCS encourages self-expression and creativity in how our students act in the classroom and in the world.
Tops or dresses should be long- or short-sleeved shirt. Dresses should be knee-length. Sleeveless shirts and/or tank tops are not allowed. Logos and appropriate slogans are permitted. No white undershirts permitted.
Any jacket, sweater, blazer, hoodie, or outerwear that utilizes technology (e.g. - has headphones attached or LED displays) are not permitted.
Bottoms/skirts must be belted or fit tightly around the waist and be knee-length or longer. Leggings or tights may be worn under skirts and dresses, but are not appropriate as a bottom option.
Can be any color, but must be rubber-soled, flat, and have at least a strap on the back. Flip-flops, thonged sandals, athletic sandals or slides, clogs, mules, Crocs™, or any similarly styled shoe is inappropriate due to safety concerns. Additionally, shoes may not light up or emit sound.
No part of the uniform can ripped, torn, frayed/fringed, or patterned. If pants tear please mend them. No undergarments (including, but not exclusive to A-line boys’/men’s t-shirts) should be visible at any time. No hats may be worn inside. Accessories (e.g. – jewelry) are allowed, but should not be distracting to the student or peer learners.
Is there before and after school care?
Yes before- and after-school care will be available on-site starting at 6:30am, and ending at 6:00pm. To register, please visit this page for more information: https://www.sktcs.org/before-after-school-program
What is the school's view on homework?
In 2007, Alfie Kohn, a progressive educator wrote,
The negative effects of homework are well known. They include children’s frustration and exhaustion, lack of time for other activities, and possible loss of interest in learning. Many parents lament the impact of homework on their relationship with their children; they may also resent having to play the role of enforcer and worry that they will be criticized either for not being involved enough with the homework or for becoming too involved.
Ten years later these facts remain true. At SKTCS we value the home life of our students and therefore have instituted a no homework policy. Instead, families are encouraged to read together, complete puzzles, go on a walk/hike, explore the outdoors, play at a park, visit a museum, play board games, or just go out to dinner and enjoy each other’s company.
Teachers will communicate with families on a weekly or daily basis to share what learning has happened in school. Families are invited to extend that learning at home by asking students to share, teach, or interview you about what you know or think about the topic.
How does the lottery work?
The lottery opens in January of every year. Please go online to our website www.sktcs.org to complete an applicartion. A lottery will be held in February of each year where students will be chosen at random. Children who are not selected at this time will be placed on the waiting list in the order their names are drawn. Following the lottery all families will be notified of child's acceptance or wait list status. If no lottery is necessary or if spaces remain, admission will continue on a first-come, first-served basis.
Finalized acceptance and registration into SKTCS is contingent upon verification of information submitted. Parents/guardians must provide all registration materials during this window or risk losing their child's space in the school.
So you have to pay to attend SKTCS?
No, as a public charter school, SKTCS does not charge tuition. SKTCS is funded through the local Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
Is transportation offered?
SCCPSS provides free transportation to and from charter school students who live further than 1.5 miles from school. Other transportation possibilities to consider include walking (including “walking school buses,” in which adults take turns walking with children), bicycling, and carpools.
What is the teacher/student ratio?
In Kindergarten the student-teacher ratio is 16:1, 18:1 in grades 1-4, and 20:1 in grades 5 and up.
Does SKTCS offer a gifted program?
At SKTCS, we believe that all students have a right to educational experiences that challenge their individual development whether it is below, at, or beyond the level of their classroom peers. Following this philosophy, SKTCS makes provisions for the special needs of gifted and talented learners within their everyday learning environment. Through our problem-based learning approach, students engage in class projects that challenge them on an individual level based on their academic abilities and interests. We believe that all of our students should have differentiated educational services throughout the day, within all instruction areas and within their classroom. Accordingly, all SKTCS students identified as gifted will be taught by teachers endorsed in gifted instruction.
Does SKTCS provide lunches?
Yes, student lunches are provided through SCCPSS. More details will be available in the month prior to school’s start.