TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Big changes could be coming to Tybee Island Maritime Academy. Its chartering agency, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, has given approval for the charter school to add three grades, but it’s not a done deal yet.
Tybee Island Maritime Academy is one step closer to adding 6th, 7th and 8th grade. School leaders say they just must get state approval, but they are ready to move forward.
If they get the go-ahead, a class of 50 6th graders would begin at the charter school for the 2020-2021 school year. Their plan would be to add 7th grade the following year and then 8th after that.
In total, they plan to add 150 students which will require additional staff and building space.
The school requested adding the three grades because of the success they have seen. They also feel it will better serve their students who appreciate the maritime focus and project learning style. While this is just the first step to expanding the school, the community is excited about the potential.
"I think it means a lot to the people here,” said Carolyn Jurick, Tybee Island Maritime Academy governing board president. “Middle school is a tough time anyway and to have your kid in the same place where they've been, I think it's amazing. If you look at many of the Savannah-Chatham schools are now k-8 and I just think it's a great environment for kids."
The TIMA governing board sent their request to the state on Wednesday, they have 60 days to respond.