Savannah-Chatham County Public School system choice program eligibility process to change

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - This school year more nearly 7,000 students applied for choice programs in Savannah Chatham County Public Schools but the process to get accepted is set to change next year.

The 26 choice programs at different schools have opportunities for students to explore STEM, the arts, Career Technical fields, and more.

As the Savannah-Chatham County public system has been working on revisions to how they accept students to the choice program, a committee of principals is now submitting a rubric with changes.

The rubric to decide if a child is placed in the lottery for a choice program will soon look at five categories. English and language arts assessments and math assessments worth 20 percent each, GPA worth 30 percent and attendance and discipline worth 15 percent each.

The full rubric is below:


“Students bring with them various strengths to an educational setting. The rubric provides opportunity for students to insinuate those strengths,” Dr. Jimmie Cave said.

Students will have to get a score of 100 out of 300 to be considered.

Savannah Arts Academy and Garrison School of Arts will still require auditions.

But not all board members were in support of the new rubric. Board president Roger Moss is concerned students who may score low in English or Math but higher in other categories will fall behind if they are in a more rigorous choice program.

He also is concerned the rubric isn’t fair to students who excel in majority of areas.

“Are we saying, ‘well we appreciate your doing that but you really didn’t have to because you could have slacked a little bit and still gotten into the school,” Roger Moss said.

The conversation was heated between Moss and board member David Bringman who is in favor of the new rubric. He says it will help students that need a new path and new environment to succeed.

“They’re just an ember and they’re struggling because they haven’t found that thing that lights them on fire...and they are finally pushed to be excellent. They’re finally in classes where everybody else is maybe on track,” David Bringman said.

Before the pandemic, the district considered GPA, test scores and auditions for arts school for choice eligibility. Post-pandemic, they stopped looking at test scores. The rubric is expected to go into effect in the 2024 to 2025 school year.