AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Challenge Preparatory Academy is a private school opening this August in Harrisburg. The principal says she believes the school will help revitalize the neighborhood and prepare students for careers in Augusta’s cyber industry.
This year, they’ll offer classes to 5th and 6th graders, focusing on cyber education. Class sizes are small, with 15 students per grade, but the academy plans to expand to a K-12 school by 2028.
“We offer the core classes using Georgia Standards of Excellence as our curriculum,” principal and program director, Dr. Mayreather Willis said. “And we offer our signature CLiC [classes], and it stands for cyber literacy connection.”
The school will also offer art, music, physical education, and urban horticulture as electives. Limited transportation to and from the school will be available.
Dr. Willis has worked in education for two decades. She’s dreamed of this school for many years, centered around the idea of preparing students for jobs in their own backyard.
“And I thought, ‘By the time our kids graduate, there will still be millions of job opportunities left for them. How amazing would it be if our middle school and high school kids are sitting here creating apps, and clearly understand their footprint and the moral and ethical parts of cyber security?'” Dr. Willis said.
She believes success starts at home, and that’s why they’re offering classes to students’ parents.
“We want to not just address the child, but we want to address the needs of the family as well,” Dr. Willis said.
Challenge Preparatory Academy, according to Dr. Willis, is centered around family and community success.
“I’ve seen old pictures of this neighborhood and they’re absolutely beautiful. To see that revitalized, I think that a school can anchor that. A community based school,” Dr. Willis said.
Registration is first-come, first-served, and there are still spots available. The school is open on Saturdays from 1:00-3:00 PM for registrations, or you can register online.
“We would love to have parents and students come and visit,” Dr. Willis said. “Because I think once they come in they’re going to love the atmosphere here and they’re going to say, ‘Yes, this is a place for my child.'”
Challenge Prep’s first day of school is August 23.