Ivy Preparatory Academy, Head of Schools, Charcia Nichols. Ed. D


Our Story

   In 2007 Dr. Nina Gilbert and Angelina Howell founded Ivy Preparatory Academy, making it Georgia’s first state public charter school for girls. Dr. Gilbert, a former Gwinnett County Schools administrator, was motivated to start a charter school by her passion for education and her frustration with children being labeled and shuffled by their demographics and disabilities within the public school system.

"If someone had given me a glimpse of what the past four years would have looked like or what I would have had to endure, I probably wouldn't have started on this journey," said Gilbert to the AJC, "I am so glad faith is blind." We are so glad Dr. Gilbert continued on her path.


Receiving the first charter from the State Board of the Georgia Department of Education in January of 2008, Ivy Prep opened the doors of the Gwinnett Campus, to our first class of 6th-grade students in August of 2008. Ivy Prep, bloomed into a high-performing middle and high school of 500 students, which grew despite being turned down by two local school districts.

In 2011, Ivy Preparatory Academy expanded to our second campus, Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood for Girls.​   Gilbert and Howell shaped Ivy Prep to prepare scholars for the rigor of college. Ivy Prep has met and exceeded state goals in several areas for students on Georgia's state standardized tests.  In 2011, 94 percent of students met or exceeded in math, 97 percent in reading and 98 percent in English/language arts on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.

 Ivy Prep is delighted to offer a college preparatory, single-gender educational option to our scholars. IPA students receive an extended school day and school year through the addition of Culture Week, Saturday Academies, and weekly homework support for scholars who need additional academic assistance. 

Simply stated we are the Right Choice for Girls


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Ivy Preparatory Academy fosters a culture of collaboration, passion for learning, integrity, and servant leadership. A strong culture helps us retain staff and inspire scholars to reach greater heights. At Ivy Preparatory Academy culture is key. We use effective practices to instill our culture in new scholars such as;

  1.  School-Wide Communication Systems and Opportunities (e.g., Leader Tone, Meal Time, Discipline, Arrival and Dismissal)

  2. Teacher Classroom Etiquette and Morale Builders (e.g., Teacher Tone, Scholar Joy and Engagement, Intervention)

  3. Classroom Systems (e.g., Learning Environment, Transitions Between Work) 

Our Vision

 Ivy Preparatory Academy cultivates leaders who manifest change in the world.

The Right Choice for Girls


Our culture aims to develop every scholar into an Ivy Pearl Girl. Our Head of Schools, Dr. Charcia Nichols, chose to distinguish our scholars as "Pearl Girls" because of the profound development and characteristics of an actual pearl.  Click here to watch the story of a pearl.


A pearl is.....

  1. BOLD: They do not hesitate and are not fearful in the face of actual or possible danger (think of how they are made)

  2. RARE: They are remarkable and above ORDINARY

  3. POWERFUL: They change the world around them for better or  worse

  4. VERSATILE: They  can adapt to any situation

  5. SOPHISTICATED: They understand the bounds of their own worth, but are comfortable standing with other jewels who are far more valuable in the eyes of others

  6. ELEGANT: They are gracious in their actions

The Ivy Pearl Girl is.....

  1. BOLD: She has her own opinions. She is proud to let them be presented to the world. She will not hesitate.

  2. RARE: She is only cultivated in one place; Ivy Preparatory Academy.

  3. POWERFUL: She is secure in herself. She takes action, makes positive choices about her own life, and does positive things for others.

  4. VERSATILE: She can do anything; she is smart, plays sports, belongs to clubs, and LEADS.

  5. SOPHISTICATED: She is aware of her social graces.

  6. ELEGANT: She is poised and polite. She demonstrates her poise by being kind and respectful to everyone around her.


Our Mission

Ivy Preparatory Academy fosters a culture of collaboration, passion for learning, integrity, and servant leadership.

The Right Choice for Girls



Value of Sisterhood

We believe in the honorable premise of unity and uplifting of young women in order to teach and assist them with building higher levels of self-worth, self-respect, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-confidence.

The Habit of Responsibility: Being accountable for ourselves, each other, and our community.

The Habit of Synergy:  Merging seamlessly with others to continuously expand the greater good of the organization.

Value of Scholarship

We believe in well-rounded young women who possess the necessary academic skills and knowledge and are excited about learning.

The Habit of Excellence: Exceeding academic standards and approaching education by being outstanding and having a spirit of greatness.

The Habit of Perseverance:  Being persistent in every task despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Value of Service

We believe that we as a network must serve and help each other, our scholars and their families, volunteers, and community partners through mutually beneficial

arrangements. We recognize that our continued success is dependent on serving our stakeholders effectively.

The Habit of Collaboration: Demonstrating the action of working with others to produce or create something that enhances our community.

The Habit of Engagement: Making appropriate provisions for accepting and giving assistance.

Contact Us

Tel:  (404) 622-2727

Fax: (404) 622-2725

1807 Memorial Drive SE

Atlanta, Ga 30317

Hours of Operations

Monday - Thursday

8:00 AM to 3:30 PM


8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Closed Daily

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

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