Our History

charter – (n) a written grant by a legislative or sovereign power, by which an institution such as a government, company, school, or city is created and its rights and privileges defined

On February 12, 1733, the ship Anne sailed down the Savannah River bringing 114 settlers and General James Oglethorpe to found the colony of Georgia.  Oglethorpe had petitioned the British government for a charter to start a new colony that was intended to be, among other things, a place where debtors could work to pay off their debt and have a chance to begin a new way of life.

Two hundred sixty-six years after the Anne arrived in America, a group of parents led by Martha Giddens Nesbit applied to the state of Georgia for another kind of charter, partly inspired by General Oglethorpe’s vision to create a haven where all could thrive. They wanted a chance to start a school for adolescent learners in Chatham County that would provide a setting where parents could become more involved in their children’s education, have some flexibility with regulations then in place while maintaining educational and fiscal integrity.

The parents were granted a charter by the state of Georgia in 1999, the first start-up charter school in the state’s history. Oglethorpe Academy opened in August of 1999 at the Pearl Lee Smith building, a vacant former elementary school on Stiles Avenue, with just under 200 students serving 6th and 7th grades. An eighth grade was added the following year.

In 2004, the school changed its name to Oglethorpe Charter School. Another milestone was reached in 2012 when the school moved to its present state of the art facility at 7202 Central Avenue in Savannah, Georgia.

Today, our dedicated professional faculty and staff proudly serve 600 students selected through an open admission process with no entrance criteria from all parts of Chatham County. We continue to follow our mission:

Partnering with parents and community to inspire students to pursue and achieve personal and educational excellence!