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Officials with Challenge Charter Academy (CCA) announced Friday morning that they are withdrawing the school’s petition which would have renewed the charter school status for the next three years, if approved. The move is being made after officials with the Georgia Department of Education notified the Challenge Foundation that the school’s petition would be submitted to the state board of education with a recommendation for denial. The Department of Education informed school officials that they had two options: to either proceed with the submission knowing it would be recommended for denial at the April 5 state board of education meeting; or withdraw the application and resubmit a revised petition to the local school district addressing noted concerns during the next 2013-2014 application cycle.

“Based on our commitment to our students, the Board of Directors for Challenge Charter Academy decided to withdraw the petition in order to incorporate the necessary recommendations needed to resubmit during the next academic year,” said Dr. Gwendolyn Cattledge, Chairperson for the Board.  “We feel that the withdrawal and resubmission of the petition will be in the best interest of the Challenge Charter Family and the community.  We will resubmit, because as was voiced by the students, parents and the community at the local district approval, this school is a needed entity in our school system – by providing a school of choice.”

Ernetta Worthy, principal of Challenge Charter Academy, added, “Our staff will continue to motivate our students as we end this year on a high note by helping our students achieve, despite our current circumstances.”

As such, Challenge Charter Academy will close at the end of the current school year. The school is sending letters home to parents this week; faculty has already been notified. According to Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews, the students now attending Challenge Charter Academy would attend the Newton County School System school their residence is zoned for next school year.

"We know CCA students, staff, and parents are very disappointed,” said Mathews. “But we certainly welcome CCA students back into Newton County School System. Their education is most important to all of us in the system and in the community."