School board members of the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy believe they have enrolled enough students to start school Aug. 20.
The new charter school has 202 enrolled students, including 19 students on the waiting list for different grades, according to Urban League officials. That number is just short of the 225 students in grades K-8 that the Urban League hoped to serve at the former Zion school building at 2313 S. Hanna St.
Fort Wayne Urban League programming director Jamie Garwood said its likely the number of enrolled students will fluctuate in coming weeks, but she expressed confidence the school would be able to meet its goal and budget objectives. So far, she said, she is only concerned about seventh grade, which only has 20 enrolled students.
Garwood and newly hired principal, Nicole N. Chisley, were going door to door to spread word about the new school.
In December, the Indiana Charter School Board approved the creation of the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy, a social justice-themed school overseen by the Fort Wayne Urban League and run by American Quality Schools Corp.
Originally, The Urban League had intended to start the charter school in the former Village Woods Middle School building within East Allen County Schools boundaries. But after running into problems with securing financing, the group decided to move to a building across the street from its headquarters, which are located in the FWCS district.
Although the board has still not signed a lease with the church, the group said most of the school planning process is moving forward.
The schools 10 teachers have been hired and curriculum planning is under way. The school is aiming for 25 students per class. The school day will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a Wednesday dismissal at 1:50 p.m.
Urban League CEO Jonathan Ray said the group has about $20,000 worth of renovations it would like to do to the building. If necessary, he said, some of the renovations could be done during the school year.