Sports-themed charter school wins OK to open west of Delray Beach

Sports Leadership Arts Management’s campus west of West Palm Beach opened in August. A Delray Beach-area campus is set to open this August.

A sports-themed charter school has won permission to open its second campus in Palm Beach County, with plans to accept middle and high school students at a new campus west of Delray Beach beginning in August 2018.

The approval of Sports Leadership Arts Management’s second campus in the county comes a year after the opening of its first one, Slam Palm Beach, which opened in August in a new building on Summit Boulevard west of West Palm Beach.

The new campus will house a middle and high school and eventually teach students from grades 6 to 12. It will be located on Lyons Road west of Delray, said Jim Pegg, director of the Palm Beach County School District’s charter school department.

UPDATE: The school had originally planned to open in August, but the school alerted the school district Wednesday evening that it would postpone its opening until August 2018, Pegg said.

“The rationale was SLAM needs time to hire administrative staff and develop a strong plan for recruiting enrollment in a competitive market,” Pegg said.

RELATED: SLAM Palm Beach: Sports-themed charter school opens in WPB

The school said in its charter application that it aimed to open its doors with 500 students in grades 6 to 9. Within five years, it hopes to have more than 1,000 students in middle and high school.

Sports Leadership and Management, or SLAM, is a sports-themed subsidiary of the Mater Academy charter network. Making ample use of sports terms and imagery, the school incorporates sports into its curriculum, offering students the opportunity to study sports medicine, sports marketing and management, and sports media production.

The school will be managed by Academica, a for-profit school management company based in Miami.

The county school board approved the 5-year charter for the new campus without debate Wednesday.

School representatives did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Also approved: a charter application for a new K-8 school called Olympus International Academy, which plans to open a campus in or around Loxahatchee Groves in August 2018.

Board members were also alerted that Boca Raton Charter, a small school in Boca Raton, decided to voluntarily close after failing to find a building to lease.

“The school made great efforts to relocate to a larger facility, but unforeseen build-out costs resulted in the school’s inability to continue its plans to relocate,” wrote Bivian Free, president of the school’s governing board, in a letter to the school district.

Editor’s Note: This story has been update to reflect Sports Leadership Arts Management’s decision to defer the opening of its new campus until August 2018.

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