On behalf of our school’s Board of Directors, I want to tell you the story of Pollock Moore Academy, which starts with my favorite love story. My husband and I met over ten years ago, and we are an eharmony success story. We both grew up in poverty, but we were taught by our parents and grandparents to work hard. David and I both worked our way through college and graduated from Georgia Southern University. We then worked as high school teachers at different schools in the Savannah area, but we had never even met until 2010 — the year we fell in love. After getting married, we stayed in the Savannah area for a while. We loved our students and our school families, but it was our dream to move back home and be closer to our family. We have now been in David’s hometown of Harlem, Georgia for five years, and we love our community. Even my mom moved here.
Our marriage has been through almost ten years worth of ups and downs and everything in between, and we have learned to rely on each other through it all. We have also been reminded of one of the reason we first fell in love with each other — our shared commitment to improving the futures for our young people. This year, we have answered a divine call in our lives. We have a huge need in our rural community for a public charter school with a College and Career Readiness model; we have so many industries in this area who need a workforce. Since last Fall, we have been working with the State Charter School Commission to be trained and receive support through this process.
Two months ago, we announced the school and named our Board Members, and they are some of the most outstanding individuals in this area. I am really not sure how we managed to get so many talented people to commit to this dream, but I am so thankful to each of them for picking up our cross. And so, now we stand together, focused on delivering a high quality, free, specialized, engaging, student-centered charter school. And we are asking this community for one chance to tell you the most important thing about Pollock Moore Academy. The most important thing about our school is our reason for accepting this call, our reason for being Mighty Phoenix, our reason for creating this school. We have three very important reasons.
Reason #1: THIS school is for the kids from poverty, who need to be enabled through education and training. David worked as a manager for a retail store, and I worked as a legal assistant to help get ourselves through college. Our students from poverty need those business skills to help them close the achievement gap. They need smaller class sizes. They need more time. Poor students don’t need our sympathy; they need more support. These kids need to be taught about society, manners, job skills, soft skills, and coping mechanisms. They need access to more work opportunities, a better discipline structure, and a supportive school culture. #thisisourwhy
Reason #2: THIS school is for the gifted students, who need a completely different educational model, and who need gifted education services that do not ask for more work, but different types of work. Our gifted and talented students need to be taught how to be creative, how to analyze, and how to problem-solve. They need options in their lives that include vocational trades that they can take to a new level. They need to be able to test out of seat time requirements and use their time in extended project-based learning tasks. They need choices. #thisisourwhy
Reason #3: THIS school is for students with low incidence special education needs. We want to help students with autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, specific learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, and mild intellectual disabilities. Using a small class size with a better teacher-to-student ratio will provide more individual help for these kids. We will have a specially-designed job skills class for students with special needs. We have a heart for helping these kids grow as learners and become self-advocates in the classroom. All of our teachers will work to provide scaffolding and trategies to our students.
It’s for the kids. It’s about them. They are the only reason.
So, if you are reading this as a current 6th through 10th grader, who fits one of those reasons, then you are our why. When we open our doors to 200 lucky 9th-12th grade students in 2021 or earlier, we want to see you on our campus, in our halls, getting the support you deserve. If you can drive to us in McDuffie County and you are a Georgia resident, then you can come here and be part of our family. Parents and families, whether you have one child or many, whether you are rich or poor, whether you live on one side of the CSRA or the other, we hope you will consider being part of our why for this community. Visit our website to read more about PMA. We hope you will take the time to register your interest in Pollock Moore Academy by completing a short interest survey to help provide data to the State Charter School Commission about the number of students who may be able to attend a regional charter school and as a sign of the outpouring of love and level of support in this community. You are our why.
We will rise,
Pollock Moore Academy