Drew Charter School: What to know before Applying in 2025

Education is the cornerstone of any society. It prepares individuals to lead successful lives and contributes to the development of society. Drew Charter School is an institution that has been instrumental in providing quality education to young minds in Atlanta.

As a highly acclaimed educational institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, with its innovative educational model, exceptional curriculum, and strong community partnerships, Drew Charter School has become a role model for schools nationwide.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Drew Charter School, covering its history, educational model and curriculum, extracurricular activities and athletics, faculty and staff, and enrollment.

Drew-Charter-School
Drew-Charter-School

About Drew Charter School

Drew Charter School is a public charter school in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It was established in 2000 as the Charles R. Drew Charter School and has since become a renowned institution in the region.

The school is focused on providing quality education to its students and preparing them for college and life beyond.

Founded by the East Lake Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the East Lake neighborhood in Atlanta. The school was established as a part of the East Lake community redevelopment project, to provide high-quality education to the community’s children.

Over the years, Drew Charter School has grown to become a K-12 school serving over 1,800 students from diverse backgrounds. The school has received numerous accolades and recognitions for its academic achievements and community impact.

Drew Charter School Ranking

Drew Charter School has consistently been ranked as one of the top schools in Georgia. In 2025, it was ranked #2 among all public high schools in the state and #1 among all charter schools. The school has also been recognized nationally for its academic programs and student performance.

Before the establishment of Drew Charter in 2000, only 5% of 5th graders in that region could meet state math standards, and neighborhood schools were among the worst-performing in the city and the state. Today, there is a noticeable difference in success:

  • 98.4% Class of 2025 Graduation Rate
  • More than $8 million worth of scholarships earned
  • 99% of candidates received admission offers from one or more colleges and universities.
  • 65% of participants were in early college programming.
  • Mental health professionals are supporting caseloads averaging 35 students.
  • The Learning Lab had 89 students working there.

Core elements of the Drew approach that gave the school an edge include:

  • Innovative Curriculum (with a STEAM Focus)
  • Early Childhood Education and a Literacy Foundation.
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Longer Day, Longer Year
  • After School Program: R.I.S.E.

Drew Charter School Academic Courses

At the heart of Drew Charter School’s success is its innovative educational model, which is focused on project-based learning, STEAM education, and social-emotional learning.

Drew Charter School offers a wide range of academic courses to its students. The curriculum is designed to provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for college and beyond. The school offers courses in Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Foreign Languages.

All students can achieve their full potential with the help of Drew’s cutting-edge project-based learning methodology, which integrates the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum and builds a solid foundation in literacy.

In addition, Drew Charter School offers a range of special programs and initiatives, including music, art, theater, and athletics. The school’s academic achievements are a testament to the effectiveness of its educational model, with students consistently outperforming their peers on state and national assessments.

An education at Drew fosters significant intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.

Extracurricular Activities and Athletics

Drew Charter School has a strong tradition of excellence in athletics, with a wide range of sports programs available for students at all levels.

The school is a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and competes in various sports, including basketball, soccer, tennis, and cross country. The school has won numerous championships and awards in athletics, with many of its student-athletes going on to play at the collegiate level.

Community Involvement and Partnerships

Drew Charter School is deeply committed to engaging with the local community and forging strong partnerships with organizations and businesses.

The school has a range of community involvement programs, including volunteer opportunities, community service projects, and neighborhood outreach initiatives.

Drew Charter School also partners with local businesses and non-profit organizations to provide students real-world learning experiences and career development opportunities.

Parental involvement and support are also highly valued at Drew Charter School, with parents playing an active role in the school’s governance and decision-making processes.

Impact on the Local Community

Drew Charter School has had a significant impact on the East Lake community and the wider Atlanta area. The school’s educational model and community involvement programs have helped to revitalize the neighborhood and create opportunities for local residents.

The school has also been a driving force behind the redevelopment of the East Lake neighborhood, with its success serving as a model for other communities across the country.

Drew Charter School Basketball

Drew Charter School has a highly competitive basketball program that has achieved great success in recent years. The team has won multiple state championships and has produced several college and professional players. The program is known for its focus on teamwork, discipline, and hard work.

Drew Charter School Faculty Ratio

One of the strengths of Drew Charter School is its low faculty ratio. The school has a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:13, which ensures that each student receives individualized attention from their teachers. This allows for a more personalized approach to education and helps students to achieve their full potential.

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Faculty and Staff

Drew Charter School’s faculty and staff are highly qualified, dedicated professionals committed to the school’s mission of providing a high-quality education to all students.

The school has a rigorous hiring process, and teachers undergo extensive training and professional development to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver an outstanding educational experience.

Drew Charter School’s faculty and staff have received numerous recognitions and awards for their excellence in teaching.

Drew Charter School Tuition

Drew Charter School is a public charter school, and as such, it is tuition-free for all students who attend. It relies on various funding sources to support its operations, including grants, donations, and government funding.

The school has a robust fundraising program, with various initiatives to engage donors and supporters. Drew Charter School also has a substantial budget and financial management system in place, ensuring that funds are allocated efficiently and effectively.

This makes it an accessible option for families looking for quality education without the high cost of private schools.

Drew Charter School Elementary Academy

In addition to its middle and high school programs, Drew Charter School also has an Elementary Academy that provides education to students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

The Academy is focused on providing a strong foundation in basic skills and also emphasizes character development and social-emotional learning.

The Drew Charter Elementary Academy understands the value of giving children a solid educational foundation early on. 

To ensure a smooth transition as students move through our cradle-to-college education pipeline, Drew collaborates closely with our early learning partners.  East Lake’s Early Learning partners are all dedicated to helping families lay the groundwork for academic success.

Three excellent early learning programs that offer a solid foundation in literacy are the Cox Pre-K Program, East Lake Early Learning Academy, and Sheltering Arms East Lake.

Students enrolled with our early learning partners enter Kindergarten prepared to learn. They are on a path to read-to-learn by third grade thanks to our partnership with the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School.

The Rollins Center additionally offers coaching, mentoring, modeling, co-teaching, supervised observation, and feedback sessions to teachers and staff members. Through their online professional development platform Cox Campus, this effective partnership and method are used as a model for effective early language and literacy instruction.

Drew Charter School Calendar

Drew Charter School follows a traditional school calendar, with the school year starting in August and ending in May. The calendar includes several holidays and breaks throughout the year, including a winter break, a spring break, and teacher workdays.

Drew Charter School Uniforms

Drew Charter School has a dress code policy that requires students to wear uniforms. The uniforms consist of a collared shirt and khaki pants or skirts. The dress code policy helps to create a sense of unity and equality among the students and also eliminates distractions that can arise from differences in clothing.

Learn more about the Drew Charter School Uniforms and dress code by clicking the following links.

The Drew Charter School logo features an image of a phoenix rising from the ashes. The phoenix symbolizes rebirth and renewal and represents the school’s commitment to helping its students achieve their full potential and rise to greatness.

Drew Charter School Facilities

Drew Charter School’s facilities and resources are top-notch, with state-of-the-art technology and modern amenities that provide students with a comfortable and conducive learning environment.

The school has a spacious and well-equipped campus, including a media center, science labs, art studios, and athletic facilities. It also has a modern library, a performing arts center, a gymnasium, and outdoor recreational areas.

Also, the school was created as a component of a larger neighborhood revitalization project, and its first graduating class had a 100% acceptance rate for colleges. With these, it also has within it, modern classrooms, including a harp room and engineering labs, which offer a variety of subjects.

They also have a robust technology program, with access to laptops, tablets, and other devices for all students. The school’s library and media center provides students with many books, research materials, and digital resources.

Students who take Lynn Luster’s block coding classes engage in interdisciplinary learning while building sets for school plays using their engineering skills.

Drew Charter School Teachers’ Salary

Drew Charter School is committed to attracting and retaining high-quality teachers, and as such, it offers competitive salaries to its faculty. The school believes that investing in its teachers is key to providing quality education to its students, and it has made it a priority to compensate them accordingly.

The average salary at Drew Charter School is between $27,295 and $128,970 per year, which is 18% more than the national average. The salaries are broken down as follows;

  • School teachers: $54,801 yearly
  • Academic coordinators: $27,295 yearly
  • Supervisors $11.66 per hour
  • Directors of Student $35.00 per hour

The region, the department, as well as numerous other crucial variables like the employee’s level of education, certifications, and other skills, can have a significant impact on salaries.

Drew Charter School Address

Drew Charter School Junior/Senior Academy

Charlie Yates Golf Course
300 Eva Davis Way,
East Lake Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30317

The school is situated in the historic East Lake neighborhood, which is known for its revitalization efforts and community involvement.

Drew Charter School Application

To apply to Drew Charter School, parents or guardians must complete an online application. The application process includes submitting proof of residency, academic records, and other supporting documents.

The school has a lottery system for admissions, which ensures that all students have an equal chance of being selected.

To be eligible to attend Drew, a parent/guardian of a prospective student must apply to the annual lottery application window. Seats are awarded by lottery in order of the school’s enrollment priorities.

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Drew uses a weighted lottery to increase the likelihood of serving more students from economically disadvantaged families. This aligns with Drew’s strategic plan and charter, which aims to serve a mixed-income population.

Drew Charter School Enrollment Checklists 2025-2025

If your student is seated in the lottery or called off the waitlist, you must complete the enrollment process by the stated deadline to enroll at Drew. Additional information about the enrollment process will be included in acceptance letters emailed to all students offered a seat.

This document lists all documents needed to complete the enrollment process. Documents are not submitted when completing the lottery application.

You will only need to submit these items during the enrollment process if your student is offered a seat. If you cannot provide the required documents by the stated deadline, your student will forfeit their seat.

Custodial parents and legal guardians with whom a student lives should submit the following:

  • Proof of Residence
  • Proof of Age
  • Immunization Certificate DPH Form 3231 (Or Religious Exemption DHP Form 2208)
  • Certificate of Vision, Hearing, and Dental Exam (DPH Form 3300). All Sections Must Be Complete (Dental As Well).
  • Social Security Card

If Applicable

  • Proof of Legal Guardianship or Custody
  • Proof of Economically Disadvantaged Status

Optional

  • Transcripts/Report Card from Previous School
  • Discipline Report

Proof of Residence

Please carefully read the scenarios listed below and provide the documentation that applies to you and your student’s living situation.

Documents denoted with an asterisk (*) must be dated within the last 30 days.

If you own and live in your own home, you will need to provide the following:

  1. Photo identification (valid state-issued identification).
  2. A deed or a mortgage statement* in your name showing the residence property address.
  3. A current Georgia Power bill* in your name showing the residence property address.
  4. Two additional supporting documents in your name showing the residence property address

If you rent and live in the rental property, you will need to provide the following:

  1. Photo identification (valid state-issued identification).
  2. Copy of the lease/rental agreement (or current HUD Certificate of Compliance/Annual Renew Notice). All enrolling children’s name(s) must be included on the lease.
  3. A current Georgia Power bill* in your name showing the residence property address.
  4. Two additional supporting documents in your name showing the residence property address

Additional Supporting Proof of Residence Documents

All supporting documents must show the residence property address. Documents denoted with an asterisk (*) must be dated within the last 30 days. At least one of the supporting documents must be dated within the last 30 days.

  • Current Georgia driver’s license or identification card
    • Bank statement*, loan documents*, credit card statement* or monthly activity statement*
    • Fulton or DeKalb County property tax statement with evidence thereupon of payment
    • Voter registration documentation from Fulton or DeKalb County
    • A current motor vehicle registration (tag receipt)
    • Cable*, telephone*, cell phone* or gas bill*
    • Receipt to have utilities connected*
    • Federal or state award letter for SNAP, TANF, WIC, Medicaid, Section 8 or PINS

Note the following about Proof-Of-Residency Documents:

  • The parent/guardian with whom the student lives must submit the proof-of-residence documents.
    • Documents must show the parent or guardian’s legal name and address.
    • A P.O. Box is not acceptable as a residence address.
    • All proof-of-residence documents denoted with an asterisk (*) must be dated within the last 30 days. At least one of the additional supporting proof of residence documents must be dated within the last 30 days.
    • Drew reserves the right to request original copies of any required document at any point in time.

Proof of Age

A certified copy of a birth certificate is required at the time of enrollment. If needed, parents/guardians can order Georgia birth certificates online directly from the State of Georgia through their Request Official Vital Event Records (ROVER) service.

Proof of Economically Disadvantaged Status

If your student received additional weight in the lottery because you indicated that you qualify as economically disadvantaged on your application, you must provide one of the following. If you cannot provide this documentation your student will forfeit their seat.

  • Current federal or state award letter for SNAP, TANF, WIC, Medicaid, Section 8, or PINS
    • Most recent IRS tax return

Proof of Legal Guardianship or Custody

Court documents showing proof of legal guardianship are required if the enrolled adult is not listed on the student’s birth certificate. If legal custody of a child is split between two parents, you must also include a certified copy of the most recent court order identifying each parent’s respective award of physical custody.

You are responsible for immediately informing the school of any changes to the court order.

Current Cox Pre-K Students Enrolling In Kindergarten

New kindergarten enrollees who were enrolled in the Cox Pre-K Program at Drew for the 2025-2025 school years are not required to resubmit a Social Security card, birth certificate, or ear/eye/dental exam if they were previously submitted and remain on file from the student’s initial enrollment.

If the immunization record on file has expired, a current immunization record is required. Drew does require up-to-date proof of residency documents.

Drew Charter School Website

The Drew Charter School website provides a wealth of information about the school and its programs. It includes details about the admissions process, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and more. The website also features news and events, as well as resources for parents and students.

Click the Drew Charter School Website and get more information.

Drew Charter School Achievements

  • With a graduation rate of 96.6%, Drew’s Class of 2025 had the second-highest mark in the District.
  • In addition to 12 Eva Davis Scholars, 10 Cousins Scholars awarded by the East Lake Foundation, a Five Strong Scholar, a Questbridge Scholar, a Coca-Cola Scholar, and a Jackie Robinson Scholar, the Class of 2025 received more than $12 million in college scholarships.
  • Drew’s Elementary Academy received a score that placed it in the top 3 percent of all schools in the state for the 2025 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).
  • The second highest was the Atlanta Public Schools District’s CCRPI score for Drew Elementary Academy.  For 7th grade math, The Junior Academy received the second-highest proficiency score in the District.
  • Among Georgia’s Charter High Schools, Drew Senior Academy had the fourth-highest CCRPI single score.
  • The top five (5) elementary, middle, and high schools in the Atlanta Public Schools District continue to be Drew’s Elementary, Junior, and Senior Academies, respectively.
  • The State School Superintendent has recognized Drew’s Elementary Academy and Drew Junior and Senior Academies as Title I Distinguished Schools, the State’s top-performing Title I Schools (Top 5%).
  • The math achievement indicator score on the CCRPI for Drew’s elementary school-aged black students was in the 99th percentile for the state.
  • All grade levels (K–10) performed better than the national average on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test administered in the spring of 2025.
  • The 2025 Shoot for the Moon (Georgia Charter School Leader of the Year) Award went to Drew’s principal Peter McKnight.
  • The 2025 Reach for the Stars (Georgia Charter School Teacher of the Year) Award went to Elementary Academy teacher Jasmine Dennard.
  • At the International Science and Engineering Fair, Niara Botchwey, a senior at Drew, placed fourth out of more than 100 entries worldwide in the biomedical engineering category.
  • Drew Elementary Academy students became the first Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl district champions.
  • At the Georgia Elementary State Science Fair, three Drew Teams received first-place awards, including the Best Overall Award for a third-grade project.
  • Following their second-place finish at the K-12 InVenture Challenge innovation competition at Georgia Tech, two Drew Elementary students represented Drew at the National Invention Convention in Dearborn, Michigan.
  • The Boys’ Varsity Golf team won the Georgia State Championship in golf, becoming the first all-African American and first Atlanta Public Schools team to do so.
  • The Varsity Girls’ Volleyball Team created school history when they reached the Area Finals and the State Tournament’s opening round.
  • Drew’s debate team won the state championship of the Atlanta Urban Debate League.
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Notable Academic Achievements

  • In 2025, the state awarded the Beating the Odds designation to all academies, indicating academic achievement above expectations.
    • Drew is now Georgia’s first K–8 STEAM-certified school thanks to the Georgia Department of Education’s award of STEAM Certification to the Elementary and Junior Academies.

      The Class of 2025 received more than $5 million in scholarships and had 100% of its graduates be accepted to colleges.

      The Class of 2025 graduated in 97.6% of cases. More than 100 schools accepted them, and they received more than $9 million in college scholarships.

      In the district-wide competition in 2025, the Senior Academy Reading Bowl Team won first place.

    • In 2025, Drew’s Engineering and Design class was a finalist for the $10,000 InvenTeam grant from MIT, which encourages students to develop technological fixes for pressing issues.

Notable Arts Achievements

  • More than 70 students took part in the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble in 2025.
    • The Senior Academy Chorus earned all SUPERIOR ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE) in 2025, including a superior rating in sight-reading, arguably the most difficult area.
    • The Senior Academy One Act Drama Team participated in the Georgia High School Association State One Act Competition and won several prizes at the regional competition.
       
    • Drew University’s performing arts program, which includes an orchestra, two dance companies, four bands, five choruses, and a special and well-known harp program, gave numerous performances nationwide.

Notable Athletic Achievements

  • The Class A Public Division State Championship for the Boys Cross Country Team was won in 2015.
    • The girls’ tennis team won the 2025 Class A Public Division State Championship.
    • The baseball team from the Boys Junior Academy twice won the middle school championship.
  • The Boys Junior Academy won the Middle School Basketball Championship for the 2025–2025.

Notable Faculty Achievements

  • One of only 36 teachers in Georgia, Claudia Fitzwater, an elementary school Spanish teacher, won the Governor’s Office for Student Achievement Innovation in Teaching Competition.
    • Emily Isbell, a math instructor at Senior Academy, studied abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in Singapore during the spring 2025 semester.

      The tiny house project Beth White’s engineering class completed earned her the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement Innovation Award.

      The Allen Distinguished Educators Award was given to three Drew Engineering and Technology teachers for their creative STEAM programs.

      Drew Kindergarten instructor Jennifer Button received the Atlanta Families’ Award for Excellence in Education.

      Governor Brian Kemp presented Angelica Hairston, the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble teacher for the Junior/Senior Academies, with the 2025 Governor’s Award for Arts and Humanities.

    • The US Department of Education recognized the Elementary, Junior, and Senior Academies as Green Ribbon Schools, institutions that lessen their environmental impact and teach students about sustainability.

FAQs

Who is eligible to attend Drew Charter School?

To be eligible to attend Drew, a student must live in the Atlanta Public Schools District (the City of Atlanta) unless they are a child of a current Drew Charter School board member or full-time employee.

How do you determine which applicants are offered a seat at Drew?

If there are more applicants than spaces available, applicants are placed in a lottery and selected in order of Drew’s enrollment priorities. Students who are not seated are placed on a waitlist in the order in which their names were selected.

Will Drew continue to prioritize serving economically disadvantaged students?

Yes. To further its goal of socioeconomic diversity, Drew will continue to use a weighted lottery to increase the statistical likelihood that students from economically disadvantaged families are seated. Drew’s Board has approved a 50:1 weight for the 2025-2025 lottery.

How many spots are available in each grade?

The number of available spots varies per grade. Drew Charter School reserves the right to manage the number of offers made from the waitlist in each grade level to balance class size and to follow best practices.

Conclusion

Drew Charter School is a shining example of how public charter schools can provide quality education to students. With its focus on academic excellence, personalized attention, and commitment to character development, the school has become a top-ranked institution in Georgia.

Its state-of-the-art facilities, competitive salaries, and dedicated faculty make it an attractive option for families looking for quality education for their children.

If you’re looking for a school that will prepare your child for success in college and beyond, Drew Charter School is definitely worth considering.

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