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What's One of the "Biggest Success Stories" of Atlanta's Westside? Hollis Innovation Academy

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    Corinne Adams

In this piece in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Hollis Innovation Academy, an EL Education school, earns a shoutout for overcoming challenges and undergoing an incredible transformation. Check out the excerpt below: 

“One of the biggest success stories on the Westside is The Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, which resulted from an intensive turnaround of what was once one of the city’s lowest-performing schools. The school’s goal was to create high quality programs for its students — particularly those who faced academic challenges, according to Hollis’ principal Diamond Jack.

“It is a city-wide program so students from all over can come to the pre-K program. If they live in the area they can stay and go from kindergarten through 8th grade here at Hollis,” she said.

The STEM-focused academy is one of the first in the state — distinguished by its unique partnership with Georgia Tech — and is emerging as a model for other schools looking to travel a similar path.

The school was formed to replace the old Bethune School. It was closed and the students relocated to a new facility about a mile away. 

“It was a struggling school for a long time with a lot of different challenges,” Jack said. “Our students come from socio-economic backgrounds that put a lot of pressure on them.” 

In addition to Georgia Tech, the school works with Hands On Atlanta, Communities in Schools and Spelman College, whose students mentor Hollis pupils.

The school uses Expeditionary Learning, project-based learning expeditions in which students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics. 

The school has a health clinic and also helps connect parents with volunteer attorneys who can assist in housing disputes.”