The idea for the Utopian Academy for the Arts Charter School Network was developed in 2009, when our Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Artesius Miller was a graduate student at Columbia University. Dr. Miller’s development of Utopian Academy for the Arts was in direct response to outweighing the economic and educational disparities that existed within the Clayton County community.
Following the loss of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Clayton County Public Schools District was identified as a community in need of alternative public education solutions, including increased options for parents to have access to charter schools.
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UAFA History Timeline
In 2009, Dr. Miller developed a founding Board of Directors inclusive of community members and stakeholders who shared his bold vision of creating high quality, innovative, and fiscally sustainable charter schools. This group included George Bandy, Dr. Marcus Barber, Anthony Bryant, Jackie Heard-Fields, Jai Gilyard, and the late Linda Faye..Read More
Between the years 2011-2013, charter petitions submitted to the Clayton County Board of Education were denied. Through changes in Georgia legislation, specifically through House Rule 1162, a new state-level charter school authorizer was created in efforts to provide an appellate process for charter schools denied by local boards of education..Read More
In the 2014-15 school year, Utopian Academy for the Arts opened its doors against all odds. Throughout its four-year residency in Riverdale, Utopian’s challenges from local city officials and the Clayton County school system prompted state officials, including then Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to intervene on the school’s behalf to..Read More
Following leadership changes on the Clayton County Board of Education and the appointment of a new Superintendent, Dr. Morcease Beasley, a new chapter began for Utopian Academy for the Arts. The charter school district’s fight with Clayton Schools eased, and Dr. Beasley welcomed Utopian Academy into the Clayton Schools family...Read More
In 2018, Utopian Academy’s overall performance was higher than 78% of Georgia public schools and its students’ academic growth outpaced 99% of the state’s schools, according to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. With the strong success of its middle school program, the Utopian Academy for the Arts was approved..Read More
In 2022, the Utopian Academy for the Arts is planning to expand its network to serve high school students. The demand for the expansion of the Utopian Academy model in Clayton County has been consistent since the opening of the middle school program in 2014. Parents of elementary, middle, and..Read More