Published Aug. 23, 2011
A public charter school that would focus on renewable energy and resources did not receive approval to come to Greenville.
The S.C. Charter School Advisory Committee did not approve the application for the K-12 Greenville Renewable Energy, or GREEN, Charter School. The Greenville County School District will not vote on it this month as planned.
This would have been the first energy-based school in the state with focus on finding alternatives to oil. It was set to open in the 2012-2013 school year.
New charter school would focus on renewable energies
Project Director Akif Aydin, the co-founder of the River City Science Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., applied for the school. The applicants can appeal the committee’s decision to the Administrative Law Court.
Aydin said he is disappointed that the school did not receive approval, but the school's committee is working on the proposal to change the original application according to the state committee's comments.
“We still hope to open the school by next year and we think the changes will be enough when we reapply,” Aydin said.
The Charter School Advisory Committee said the application did not comply with standards for charter schools required under the Charter Schools Act, according to the committee’s letter. It needed to explain the student-teacher ratio; the curriculum; measurable goals; academic standards for each grade levels; a grading scale; a transportation plan and budget; an equipment use description; a parental and community involvement description; a district discipline policy; and an economically sound budget plan.
The application also needs to be consistent that teachers are science certified and remove language about admitting out-of-district students.
Aydin originally wanted the school to focus on math and science until discussions with Imtiaz Haque of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research brought energy policies to the table. They created the idea of a hybrid charter school based on renewable energy.
Aydin and Haque said the study of renewable resources should begin early on in school to create an educated workforce of the future. The school would have the fundamental core teachings like any other, but the curriculum would incorporate renewable energy for each class.
“There is a need in South Carolina and in Greenville for renewable energy and the future will be depending on how we make it,” Aydin said in May after sending in the application.
NOW FOR THE DENIAL OF THE ARKANSAS GULEN CHARTER SCHOOL