BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The future site of the I3 Academy is formerly the First Baptist Church of Woodlawn.
The Head of School, Dr. Martin Nalls, is excited for this new school. “I was compelled by just interacting with the community to ensure that they have a high-quality education,” says Nalls.
The school is giving opportunity to those who have not had the same opportunities as others, but it was almost a missed opportunity.
The application for the charter school was denied by the Birmingham City School Board in January. The report from the school board says the application was rated “partially meets standards” in areas like transportation, design and capacity, and financial planning. The report basically says the application was too vague to be considered.
Nalls says it’s all a fluid process. “Once we identify our students, the students who will enroll in our school, we will have to adjust and adapt,” says Nalls.
They appealed to Alabama Public Charter School Commission who approved the application Monday afternoon. The school will have a project-based learning plan and include a STEAM program. But Nalls is most proud of their comprehensive RTI program, or Response to Intervention.
“So we will have a reading and math lab available for students who have not met the grade-level standard when they arrive at our school,” said Nalls.
The academy will have no tuition and will be open to all families in the Birmingham area who apply.
“From my point of view, they need an infusion of hope and I think this school will provide that infusion of hope,” said Nalls.
I3 stands for Imagine, Investigate, and Innovate. They plan to have a community liaison to help parents fill out that application.
The school hopes to enroll 420 students grades K-5 and will open in fall of 2020.