The Blast

SPARK Academy Newsletter - Back to School Edition 2022

Welcome Back!

Hello! I am Lorian Charles, the new principal at SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary. I cannot tell you how excited I am to join the SPARK team! I have been an educator at Athens City Schools for 20 years, spending time at Athens Middle School and Athens High School as an ELA teacher and at Athens High School and Athens Intermediate School as an assistant principal. This new chapter at SPARK Academy is a journey of learning and growth that I am looking forward to sharing with the families and faculty of SPARK.

As we embark on this new year, I want to say a big WELCOME to those new to the SPARK family and WELCOME BACK to those who are returning. My lines of communication are always open. Whether a phone call, email, or face-to-face meeting, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there is something that I can do to help you.

At SPARK Academy, we believe that curiosity sparks exploration, exploration sparks ownership, and ownership sparks empowerment for learners who will go out and make our world better. We will all SPARKLE this year!


Lorian Charles

Principal, SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary

Important Dates

August 1: SPARK pre-K Orientation @6:00 pm (parents only)

August 4: SPARK Meet the Teacher Night

5:30 - pre-K, Kindergarten and 2nd grade

6:45 - 1st and 3rd grades

6:15-6:30 - Information for Spanish speaking families

August 10: First Full day for pre-K and 1st-3rd graders

August 10, 11, and 12: Kindergarten Phase-In Days

August 15: First Full day for all kindergarteners


The federal waiver that enabled schools to provide meals at no cost to students ended on June 30, 2022. School lunches will no longer be free for all Athens City Schools students. Find out if your family qualifies for Free and Reduced Lunch by completing the 2022-2023 Free and Reduced Lunch Application. Only one application is necessary per family. Families must re-apply each school year to potentially receive this benefit. Visit to apply.

2022-2023 ACS Student Daily Lunch Pricing:
$2.75 - PAID (Family does not qualify for free or reduced lunch)
$0.40 - REDUCED (apply to see if your family qualifies)
$0.00 - FREE (apply to see if your family qualifies)

Remember, beginning August 10, 2022, families who do not qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch should plan to pay the $2.75 daily lunch rate. If you have any questions or need help with your Free and Reduced Lunch Application, contact Dr. Tandy Blackwell, Director of Child Nutrition, at or (256) 233-6600. Paper applications are also available at

Be ready for the first day of school - apply to see if your family qualifies today!
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Pick Up and Drop Off for Car Riders

DROP OFF in the morning may enter from both directions on Bullington St.

PICK UP will enter on the south end of the school from Bullington St. It is extremely important that pick up traffic arrive from the south on Bullington St. (from the direction of West Washington St.). Students will be dropped off and picked up for dismissal at the south entrance of the school at the door beside the cafeteria.

*Traffic on Bullington St. from West Hobbs is reserved for buses and parking for front office business. PICK UP traffic should not enter Bullington St. from West Hobbs.

Car line will start off slow for about a week or so, therefore, we ask for your patience and cooperation.

  • Students are only allowed to be picked up at the south end entrance. Students will not be allowed to leave from any of the side doors.

  • Walkers will dismiss from the main entrance (north side)

  • Walkers must have a note from parent/legal guardian granting permission to walk home.

  • School dismisses at 2:45. Please do not come inside the school to pick up your child. We ask that you stay in carline.

  • If you have to make changes to your child’s transportation please notify your teacher or the office as soon as possible.

When you register your child as a car rider we will issue your first car tag for free. You must have the car tag visible in order to pick your child up. For the safety of your child, if someone else will be picking them up they MUST have the car tag. You may purchase additional car tags for multiple cars that may be picking up your child if you choose. Your child will have the same number for their entire time at SPARK academy.

Additional and Replacement Car Tags: $3

SPARK Car Line
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