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Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School officially signs state charter contract

The Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School (AAHS) on Monday announced that it had signed its charter contract with the Alabama Public Charter School Commission.

AAHS, fresh off the official contract signing, can now move forward with its plans to open the school in August 2022.

With documentation officially signed, AAHS board president Charles Knight declared that the school is prepared to launch next year.

“Our charter has been approved and contract signed by the Alabama Public School Charter Commission,” advised Knight. “We’re extremely excited to have the commission’s authorization and can now work toward having everything in place to open in August of 2022. We are in business!”

According to AAHS, the school’s curriculum will be aligned with industry needs and is designed for an internationally diverse student population. The aviation-centered public charter school was established to prepare students for future careers in aviation and aerospace.

“This was a huge accomplishment for the board, our supporters and our partners,” added Knight. “This is a huge win for children in Birmingham who are interested in jobs in the aerospace and aviation industry.”

AAHS founder and CEO Ruben Morris echoed Knight’s excitement in having the school’s charter officially recognized.

“I’m extremely excited the contract has been approved,” declared Morris. “AAHS is now official and it’s wonderful to see what we’ve been working toward the past two years come to fruition. We look forward to serving the children and families of Bessemer and Birmingham and are now actively looking for qualified and skilled founding teachers for AAHS.”

Opening in August 2022, AAHS will be housed in a temporary location at the Foundation of Life Church in Bessemer while a permanent facility is being constructed at the Bessemer Municipal Airport.

Admission to AAHS will be free and is open for Birmingham area students grades nine through 12. The school expects to enroll an initial freshman class of around 130-150 students. AAHS advised that it will continue to grow its enrollment numbers until it reaches a proposed capacity of approximately 500 students.

The school is set to offer numerous STEM disciplines and a college preparatory curriculum. AAHS has partnered with Delta Tech Ops and Alabama’s historically black colleges and universities including Tuskegee University, Miles College and Alabama State University.

Additionally, it is partnering with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn Aviation to provide student pathways in the fields of aerospace and aviation.

According to Morris, the school still holds available spaces for the incoming ninth-grade class. He noted that interested families and students can find admission information and submit an intent to enroll form at the AAHS website. School personnel can be reached for inquires by email at info@alahhs.org or by phone at 205-538-0702.

In addition to the contract signing, Morris also announced that Jeff Smith, partner at Smith Ventures, had joined the AAHS governing board.

The newly-cemented board member also serves as president of Smith Development and Management, managing partner of Lintelift.com and principal managing partner of BDryAlabama.com. He formerly served as a partner and board member of Shipt, a Birmingham area grocery delivery service.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL