A new STEM school to arrive in Fulton County


Jessi Rich, Staff Writer

The amount of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs rises exponentially every year. Fulton County Schools has decided to cater to this rapidly expanding market by creating a new STEM high school, to be located where Independence High School once was in downtown Alpharetta.

Fulton County School Board members decided to build the school due to overcrowding in the county’s other high schools. “We needed more classroom space,” says elected Board member Katie Reeves, who represents the Alpharetta and Milton areas on the county’s Board of Education. “We had two options: to build a new high school and redistrict all the areas, or to do something different.”

The school will have three primary fields of instruction: healthcare, information technology, and engineering/manufacturing. Fulton County lacks jobs in these domains the most, according to Reeves. To prepare their students for these jobs, the school’s curriculum and atmosphere will incorporate more of a work environment than the usual high school. This environment requires more independence and responsibility for its students, Reeves mentions.

Any student, regardless of academic achievement, can apply. “We are going to have career pathways for students of different ability levels,” Reeves says.  With a focus on the work environment, however, the school will offer a different high school experience. For example, while there may be club sports, an official football team is unlikely.

The application process, as well the school’s schedule, are both works in progress. Regardless, Reeves is positive the school will be in high demand. “This school will provide great interest and great opportunities for all its students,” she states.

Construction for the school begins this June, and students can enroll in fall of 2020.