A middle school for the artist

Jessica Jordan:

An educational dream pitched by three Hall County teachers takes flight Monday when 120 students and six teachers come together for the first day of school at the da Vinci Academy.
The pilot program provides innovative learning opportunities for gifted students with a penchant for the arts and sciences. But that’s only half of the reason it’s making a splash with educators across the Southeast. The program also will operate at about 60 percent to 70 percent of the cost per student compared to a traditional middle school, Hall County school Superintendent Will Schofield said.
Though states have made unprecedented cuts to public school funds, educators are trying to make the most of every penny while pushing programs that engage students and get results.
Schofield said the da Vinci Academy is a great example of how schools can do more with less.
“I think it truly is some Renaissance thinking is these difficult times,” he said. “It’s the exciting side of chaotic and difficult times.
That’s when you see the best in people and that’s when you see the worst in people, and I think what we’re seeing is the best in terms of innovative thinking, new ways of doing something that we’ve done the same way for a long time.