SCA Unveils Newly Restored Gymnasium

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

On Thursday, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) students, faculty and supporters joined together for the official unveil of the public charter school’s newly restored gymnasium. SCA Director Barry Lollis and Board President Scott McGhie recognized donors who helped fund this project and updated attendees on SCA’s recent successes. Lollis also included the school’s student body in the special occasion by mixing in some lighthearted moments, recognizing students who achieved honor roll and high honor roll, as well as those with perfect attendance. And, as an entertaining reward for students who helped with a recent initiative, Lollis concluded the event by taking a pie to the face, along with another faculty member, courtesy of two SCA kindergarteners.

Commemorating this special event, the SCA boys’ basketball team and girls’ volleyball team, who recently made it to the 2018 GHSA volleyball state playoffs, competed in a lively volleyball game. This friendly game served as a special opportunity for these students to play in front of all of their peers, which they have never been able to do in the past. Prior to this renovation, the gymnasium, although used as an exercise space, was ineligible to host sporting events as it did not meet the state’s standards. However, because of this restoration project, beginning in the 2019-20 school year, SCA will be able to host basketball and volleyball games in Spartan’s Gym.

The restored gymnasium – funded through community supporters’ generous donations – features the craftsmanship, artistry and labor of many locals, including muralist Adolfo Hernández Alvarado. SCA has recognized The Hodge Foundation – an organization created through an endowment left by Sarah Mill Hodge designated to helping relieve the suffering of the people of Chatham County – for its significant donation to the project.

“We are grateful to every single individual who believed in the passion behind our mission and helped turn this project into a reality, and to our athletics director, Mr. Eric Parker, who was instrumental in coordinating with our vendors through this process,” Lollis said. “As SCA is on track to serve grades K-12 beginning in August 2019, it is vital that we create a strong sense of a well-rounded community within our school by retaining and attracting students who are interested in athletics as well as a classical education.” 

Lollis and McGhie highlighted SCA’s successful 2018-19 school year by sharing the following achievements:

  • According to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s (SCCPSS) 2018 Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS) assessment, SCA is ranked number five among the 24 Kindergarten programs in the SCCPSS, and is also ranked the highest performing charter school in the district with 94% of all SCA kindergarten students achieving the assessment’s criteria.

  • Significantly outperforming both the District and State, SCA reported outstanding 2018 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) results released by The Georgia Department of Education, with the public charter school achieving an overall score of 80.6 compared to a state average of 76.6 and SCCPSS average of 71.9.

  • Three out of the eight Chatham County students selected as REACH Georgia Scholars are SCA students.

  • SCA Director Lollis has been appointed by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan to serve on the Georgia Department of Education Charter Advisory Committee as the only charter school leader currently sitting on this state appointed educational committee.

  • The Georgia Department of Education has renewed SCA’s charter for five years.

“Our board has been delighted to see drastic improvements in SCA’s academic performance throughout the school year under the direction of Barry Lollis, who has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to academic excellence,” McGhie said. “As we expand to a K-12 school, we anticipate a bright future for SCA with continued community support and this innovative new gym, expected to attract even more students to register for lottery enrollment.”