Charter System

Charter System and School Governance

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why did Atlanta Public Schools transition to a charter system operating model?

    All school systems in the State of Georgia were recently required to select a new operating model. As a result, beginning July 1, 2016, Atlanta Public Schools became a Charter System.

    Is a charter system made up of all charter schools?

    No. A charter system is a school district that operates under a performance-based contract between the local board and the state board of education. The contract between Atlanta Public Schools and the State Board of Education does not include schools with separate charter agreements and school admission criteria, such as locally-approved start-up charter schools, conversion charter schools and alternative education centers.

    How has changing to a charter system affected our schools?

    Becoming a charter system allows our schools more freedom and flexibility to find new ways to boost student achievement. The best part — parents, educators and community members can now share in the decision-making process by joining the school’s GO Team.

    What are GO Teams?

    Local School Councils have been replaced with Local School Governance Teams or GO Teams and now have a more defined structure and decision-making authority.

    Who serves on GO Teams?

    GO Teams include nine voting members and the school principal. Each team consists of three elected parents/guardians, three elected instructional staff, two appointed community members, one appointed swing seat, and one appointed student (high school only).

    How are GO Team members selected?

    Parents and instructional staff must declare candidacy and community members must declare interest in participating. Parents and instructional staff are elected to their positions by their respective peers. The community member spots will be filled based upon a nomination from the principal and approval by the GO Team. Swing Seat members may be nominated by any GO Team member for approval by the full GO Team.

    Do I need special skills or training in order to serve on a GO Team?

    No experience is needed as training and tools will be provided for all GO Team members.

    What do GO Teams do?

    Each GO Team is responsible for collaborating with school leaders to provide input regarding the school’s strategic plan, budget, flexibility requests, and more.