Macon-Bibb's First Charter School

Macon-Bibb's first charter school will open this August at the former First Data site on New Forsyth Road. The Academy of Classical Education, or ACE as it will be known, will start with 760 students and 50 staff members. This 200,000 square foot building will house kindergarten through 8th grade starting this fall. An additional grade will be added each year until it's k-12th.

The school is the dream of Laura Perkins and Esterine Stokes, both retired educators who say the time's right for a charter school in Macon-Bibb. Stokes explains, "We do believe the time has come for this with the new change in government. Macon and Bibb are now one community. This will be a charter school that serves the entire community."

1,334 students applied to ACE and with 600 still on the wait list, many parents are eager for their children to have this opportunity. Stokes says the curriculum here is rigorous and students must come prepared to learn. "All of our curriculum is inter-related and follows a historical timeline, so the courses are taught following that timeline. When you're learning Greek mythology, you're learning Greek history," explains Stokes.

ACE will offer extracurricular activities as well, such as soccer, baseball, softball, track and field and tennis. For students in fine arts, ACE will offer band, string music and visual arts. Students with special needs will be supported through its gifted and special education programs.

Of the 200,000 square feet, only half will be used when the school opens in August. Other sections will be renovated in time depending on the needs of the school.

Laura Perkins tells students, "The bottom line at ACE is when you walk through those doors, your goal is to learn something new every day."

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