Gwinnett County

High school dropouts getting a second chance thanks to new Gwinnett Co. Schools program

DULUTH, Ga. — High school dropouts are getting a second chance at a diploma at a new Gwinnett County school. It offers a different way to graduate.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson was at Gwinnett County Acceleration Academy Tuesday, which is getting a new, permanent location with hopes of reaching more kids.

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Eighteen-year-old Shamiyah Lewis can now call herself a high school graduate.

But last year, she was a high school dropout struggling after moving from New York.

“I was already behind in the semester since I didn’t finish. That was really discouraging,” Lewis said/

She’s one of the first people to graduate from Gwinnett County Acceleration Academies.

It’s an accelerated program for students who need something other than a traditional school setting.


On Tuesday, GCAA opened its new permanent campus in Duluth.

The school partners with Gwinnett County Schools to offer a free program that aims to reach students who have dropped out.

Students are required to spend at least 12 hours a week on campus, but they are told to go at their own pace.

“I do believe partnerships are part of this work. We cannot do this work by ourselves,” Gwinnett County Superintendent Dr. Calvin Watts said.

Watts says this partnership shows they don’t give up on students.

“We know that Acceleration Academy will provide us with another option to catch them up. Certainly to make them successful once they leave us,” Watts said.

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Last week Lewis became one of the first to ever graduate from GCAA.

Now she’s finalizing her college plans with dreams of making movies.