No other school in the US is like Magic City Acceptance Academy: apply for 6-12 grades now

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future MCAA students
Future Magic City Acceptance Academy students and founding principal Mike Wilson at Homewood Park. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Imagine a school for middle and high schoolers where everyone belongs. Now imagine top-notch educators, and an affirming, welcoming, learning and creativity-focused culture. This is just a part of the big, bold vision West Homewood-based Magic City Acceptance Academy has for its future.

We talked with Chief Academic Officer Charity Jackson to find out about MCAA’s plans. Keep reading for all the details, including how to apply.

The basics

Magic City Acceptance Academy is: 

  • A new, tuition-free public charter school for grades 6-12.
  • LGBTQ+ affirming—the only school in the country that has this language in its mission.
  • Open to everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, class and/or disability. English language learners and exceptional learners are welcome, too.
  • Opening in fall 2021.
  • Accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year.

Where you’ll find Magic City Acceptance Academy

Meet Charity Jackson, Chief Academic Officer

Charity Jackson, Magic City Acceptance Academy

Born and raised in the Birmingham area, Charity Jackson went to Howard University, in Washington, DC, for college, where she majored in Spanish and pre-med. By February of her senior year, she’d decided she wanted to go into education and has never looked back. 

After spending some time together, I would describe Jackson as “passionate about education, and deeply invested in both the success of her students and in their social and emotional well-being.”

After closely watching MCAA’s development, she was hired in January to serve as the school’s founding Chief Academic Officer. We talked to Jackson about the culture they’re working to create at the school, even before they welcome their first students in the fall of 2021. 

What you’ll find at Magic City Acceptance Academy: an October 2021 imaginary walkthrough

I asked Jackson to take me on an imaginary walkthrough of the school in October 2021 to help paint a picture of the school’s culture:

  • What kinds of things would we see and spaces will there be?
  • What would be happening and how will people be interacting?

Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:

What you’ll see + spaces

a future hallway at MCAA
A future hallway at MCAA. Photo via CCR Architecture and Interiors

The first thing we saw on our imaginary walkthrough was all the tangibles: 

  • A newly remodeled building.
  • Community art projects.
  • Clear windows so you can see into classrooms.
  • Classroom norms created by students and teachers together.
  • Images representing work and higher ed opportunities for the future.
  • Words and affirmations respecting everyone in the room.
  • One-to-one devices.

Know this is the place for someone you care about? Apply now for the 2021-22 academic year.

Next, we went on to the key intangibles:

“I can’t wait to hear the laughter and joy that will be in this space. Also, I’m so excited to see the passion that students will start to ignite in themselves once they see what education can do and what is possible for their lives.”

Charity Jackson, Chief Academic Officer, Magic City Acceptance Academy

From there, we talked about what might be happening in the space and what kinds of interactions would be happening. Here’s what Jackson said: 

MCAA kids
Future MCAA students on an outing in Homewood. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Students:

  • Working collaboratively on projects. 
  • Doing some of the teaching and the learning, asking questions and being part of a community.
  • Practicing mindfulness throughout the day and journaling.

Teachers:

  • Facilitating learning. 
  • Building real relationships with students.
  • Being passionate about their content areas and their students.

Administration: 

  • Traveling to different classrooms.
  • Getting to know students.
  • Supporting teachers.

Overall, acceptance and awareness are the school’s top priorities. Can you imagine? 

It sounds like such a warm and intentionally engaging environment for learning. If you pictured one or more rising 6-12th graders, or families you think this might be perfect for, let them know. There’s literally no other school like this.

Apply now for the inaugural 2021-22 year

Magic City Acceptance Academy lottery

Parents of rising 6-12 graders: apply now for the 2020-21 academic year

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