Public Prep

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Public Prep charter schools, run by the Public Prep Network, are open to girls in New York City, New York, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the South Bronx of the Bronx. Expansion to other urban areas and to educate boys is being planned.

Girls Prep schools are already open. Boys Prep is being planned.

Mission[edit]

Public Prep provides single-sex schools. "We believe that single-sex education should be an option open to all New York City families, not only those who have the opportunity to send their child to private school."[1] The goal for students is high academic achievement toward college admission. Schools are in New York City and will be expanded to other urban centers around New York City.[2] Girls are being educated now.[3] "Public Prep seeks to serve thousands of students in New York City's neediest neighborhoods."[4] Boys, it is expected, will be educated when Boys Prep is opened, possibly in 2011.[5] The goal is to run six schools in total by 2014.[4]

Grades offered[edit]

Kindergarten through grade 7 are open now but the grades vary depending on the school's location. The elementary schools go up to the 4th grade, while the middle school has 5th grade[5] through 7th grades. Expansion plans include the middle school reaching the 8th grade.[3]

Academics[edit]

In addition to being immersed in academics, "students attend music or art every day . . . [and] take yoga classes".[5][6] Gym or yoga is held for every student daily.[6][7] Computer programming and website design is being taught to middle school fifth-grade girls on Saturdays, with a possibility of including it in the regular curriculum, and with additional benefits of encouraging creativity, understanding how other things might be made, and entry into nontraditional fields.[8]

The math program is based on the Saxon Math curriculum and is taught daily, with an extra period each week.[9]

Reading is daily, and designed to be intensive, with students in a small group reading together.[6] Interactive read-alouds, reading both shared and independent, and studies in words and language concepts are included all day.[9]

Science and social studies use the Scott Foresman curriculum.[9]

The goal is to exceed New York State's standards.[9] To track students' progress along the way, TerraNova tests and other assessments are intended to be applied every month and a half or two months.[9]

Each student has a binder for carrying between school and home, so parents can follow their child's progress and exchange messages with teachers.[6]

Teaching[edit]

Two teachers serve each class. The lead teacher is certified and has three years of experience.[6]

Individualized teaching is provided, because different students learn in different ways.[10]

Early each school year or just before it starts, a teacher visits parents at home, to establish an educational relationship. The family will be given a teacher's cell phone number.[6]

For specialized needs, an instructional coach to teach small groups and tailor curricula, a special education coordinator, and an English language learners coordinator all provide assistance.[6]

New teachers are developed through the Girls Prep Fellows Program, lasting two years full-time per teacher. It includes teaching with a mentor and assistance toward achieving a master's degree[1][6] from Hunter College.[1] Fellows are salaried and independent teaching responsibilities include science and, in middle school, social studies.[1]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Extracurricular activities are not provided in schools located in the Bronx.[11] In both Lower East Side schools, they're art, gym, yoga, and music.[12]

Uniforms and dress code[edit]

Uniforms are standard.[10][11][12] Teachers have a dress code.[10]

Discipline[edit]

School discipline is required of students.[7]

Support[edit]

A school social worker will be available for non-classroom and nontraditional needs.

The Director of Student and Family Affairs is a full-time representative for parents[6] and assists with student discipline.[13]

Inspiration[edit]

A great woman's name is given to every classroom.[7] Sonia Sotomayor, the new U.S. Supreme Court Justice appointed by President Obama, is named in a classroom at Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School.[14] Other namesakes include Bella Abzug, former U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives (in Congress), Zaha Hadid, architect, and Brenda Berkman, formerly a firefighter and an officer in the New York City Fire Department, at the Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School. Because of the focus through naming, for example, a teacher in the Bella Abzug classroom gave extra lessons about government.[14]

Student demographics[edit]

Single-gender schooling[edit]

Each school serves a single gender only.[5]

Total enrollments[edit]

For the 2010–2011 school year, the two Lower East Side schools together are expected to have 330 students[12] while the Bronx school is expected to have 198 students,[11] for a total of 528 students.

Ethnic and racial demography[edit]

At Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School, 97% of students are African American, Latina, or multiracial.[5]

At Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School, 97% of students are African American or Latina.[5]

At Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School, 99% of students are African American, Latina, or multiracial.[5]

Neighborhood or district[edit]

At Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary and Middle Schools each, 46% of students are District 1 residents.[5] At the middle school in September, 2009, nearly half were District 1 residents.[15]

At Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School, 64% of students are District 8 residents.[5]

Special needs[edit]

All three schools "provide . . . intensive at-risk services and academic supports" and free or low-price lunches are received by 73% of the LES (Lower East Side) schools' students and 90% of the Bronx school students. LES schools' services include SETTS, tutoring, speech, and counseling. The Bronx school has English language learners, i.e., they arrived knowing another language or none and are now learning English. The Bronx school also has students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).[5] The East Harlem school is being planned to include English language learners and students with disabilities.[16] An Academic Intervention Specialist assists with teaching at-risk students.[17]

Because programs are customized to students' needs, there is less need to label students under special education, and this brings the special-needs numbers down while providing what the same students need for high achievement.[18]

Management[edit]

The Chief Executive Officer is Ian Rowe. He was formerly with the Gates Foundation.

The governing board is chaired by investor Bryan Lawrence,[7] founder of Oakcliff Capital.[19]

Principals may be former Girls Prep teachers and teaching fellows.[9]

Other management includes a director of business and operations and an administrative associate.[9]

Finances[edit]

For tuition (which is free), see Public Prep#Admissions and costs.

While school space is rented by the City for only a dollar a year, the state funds the school at $12,000 per student per year. The school does its own supplemental fundraising, bringing in about $1,000 more per student per year.[7] Support with fundraising is provided by Friends of Girls Prep, Inc.[2]

Founding[edit]

Eric Grannis, husband of Eva Moskowitz, founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, Bryan Lawrence, founder of Oakcliff Capital, and Miriam Lewis Raccah founded Girls Prep. Early board members included Boykin Curry [20] before it was renamed to Public Prep.

KIPP inspired two principal donors of Public Prep.[21]

Professional affiliation[edit]

Public Prep (as Girls Prep) is a member of the National Coalition of Girls' Schools.[22]

Admissions and costs[edit]

There is no tuition.[4]

Preference for admission is given to local school district residents.[5] The schools' districts are shown next to the locations in this article.

Seven applications have been received for each student's space,[5] an increase from six per opening in 2007.[7]

The deadline for a Fall admission is generally in the early Spring. A school planning associate at the school can provide information on applying.[6]

A lottery is used to select among qualified applicants.

Results[edit]

State tests[edit]

The school's management reported, "100% of Girls Prep 3rd and 4th graders scored advanced or proficient on the New York State math & science exams",[23] and "98% of third grade students and 92% of fourth grade students scored advanced or proficient on the New York State ELA ["English Language Arts"] exam."[23] As comparisons, it reported, "[i]n Community School District 1 where Girls Prep [in Manhattan] is located, 91.9% of third graders and 82.8% of fourth graders scored advanced or proficient on the math exam. On the ELA exam, 70.5% of District 1 third graders and 69.5% of fourth graders scored advanced or proficient. In New York City, 91.1% of third graders and 84.4% of fourth graders scored advanced or proficient in Math while 69% of third and fourth graders scored advanced or proficient in ELA."[23]

In 2008, every 3rd and 4th grade student—100%—scored as proficient in math, while 92.0% of 4th graders and 97.7% of 3rd graders scored as proficient in English. By comparison, the whole district did less well, the proficient in English being only 69.5% of 4th graders and 70.5% of 3rd graders and in math 82.8% of 4th graders and 91.9% of 3rd graders. The difference between district-wide scores and Girls Prep scores thus ranges from 8.1% to 27.2%, all of them in Girls Prep students' favor.[12]

Internal tests[edit]

In 2006, Girls Prep's second year, after taking TerraNova tests, 83% achieved or exceeded grade level in reading and 79% did it in math.[7]

Evaluations by parents, teachers, and students[edit]

The N.Y.C. Department of Education surveys parents and teachers, and, for 6th grade and higher, students, in every school every year about qualities of the school. Comparisons are possible where response rates are reasonably high. NYC School Survey results are published.[24]

Locations[edit]

The main office is at 681 Kelly Street, Bronx, N.Y. 10455.[25]

Three schools are now open in New York City:[3]

  • Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School, in Manhattan's Lower East Side,[3] in Community School District 1, at 442 East Houston Street, Room 312, New York, N.Y. 10002,[12] which opened in 2005, as the first school in the network[4] and the city's first all-girls charter school run by anyone.[5] This school serves grades kindergarten[12] through 4.
  • Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School, in Manhattan's Lower East Side,[3] in Community School District. In 2011 it moved from 442 East Houston Street, Room 312, New York, N.Y. 10002, to East Side Community High School building on East 12th Street, in space formerly occupied by the defunct Ross Global Academy.[26][12] This school serves grades 5 through 8 as of 2014.[12]
  • Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School, in the South Bronx,[3] in Community School District 8, at 681 Kelly Street, Bronx, N.Y. 10455,[11] which opened in 2009.[4] This school serves kindergarten and 1st grade, in the 2010–2011 school year will serve grades kindergarten through 2, and will eventually educate grades kindergarten through 5.[11]

Girls Prep East Harlem is being planned; an application to open it was submitted. It will be in Community School District 4.[27]

Outside of New York City, locations have not yet been chosen, but are being planned.[2]

MetroCards are provided for public transportation to schools, as opposed to private school buses.[11][12]

Schedules[edit]

Daily[edit]

  • The Lower East Side elementary school is open 7:50a to 3:00p and has after-school programs.[12]
  • The Lower East Side middle school is open 7:55a to 4:00p and has after-school programs.[12]
  • The Bronx school is open Monday–Thursday from 8:00a to 4:00p and Friday 8:00a to 1:40p. There are no after-school programs.[11]

Year length[edit]

  • At the Lower East Side elementary school, the school year runs August 24, 2010, to June 24, 2011.[12]
  • At the Lower East Side middle school, the school year runs August 17, 2010, to June 24, 2011 (the announcement says "2010" for both but the context suggests 2011 for the June date).[12]
  • At the Bronx school, the year is not extended.[11]

Family participation[edit]

Visits and volunteer service by students' families are encouraged at all times.[6]

Family events include workshops, breakfasts, picnics, and movie nights.[6]

For political support, Save Girls Prep organizes and brings parents and students to events where they can present their views on the need for school space for successful charters.[28]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Classroom space[edit]

Space for the Girls Prep middle school has been a point of controversy, because classroom space is provided by the New York City Department of Education in existing public schools, where students' parents often object to the loss of noncharter space their students use.[15][18][29][30][31][32] A proposal to expand the Lower East Side middle school potentially affects the public noncharter's space for students with autism, a concern raised by the disability-rights education organization Advocates for Children, but the City's Department of Education assures that there won't be overcrowding.[33][34] The East Harlem school expects to receive space from the City's Department of Education.[35] Support for space for charters has come from elected political office-holders Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the State Assembly, and State Senator Daniel Squadron; "[b]oth have emphasized their support for Girls Prep's expansion".[32] In some cases, the public noncharter schools may also be successful schools and still be required to share space.[36]

Single-sex schooling[edit]

Federal law forbids gender discrimination. However, the U.S. Department of Education has provided nonregulatory guidance to the effect that if comparable facilities are provided for both boys and girls then single-sex schools are permitted, and comparable facilities are, both at Excellence Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant and in other schools in the city, including for boys only. State law allows single-sex schools (Education Law subdiv. 2854(2)).[37]

Plans[edit]

Plans include the opening of Girls Prep East Harlem, for which an application has been submitted. Class size is planned to be about 24. Enrollment would be about 72 students per grade, starting with kindergarten and first grade and eventually reaching the 8th grade. It is modeled on the Lower East Side schools.[38]

Other names[edit]

Additionally, and sometimes informally, Public Prep may also be known as Public Preparatory or Public Preparatory Network, Girls Prep may also be known as Girls' Prep, Girls Preparatory, or Girls' Preparatory, and Boys Prep may also be known as Boys' Prep, Boys Preparatory, or Boys' Preparatory. Each school also is separately named.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d An Invitation to Apply for the Position of Girls Prep Fellow, The National Coalition of Girls' Schools, 12/10/2008 (prob. Dec. 10 but poss. Oct. 12), as accessed Apr. 22, 2010. This statement may be a self-statement from the school administration.
  2. ^ a b c Position Announcement, in PND Philanthropy News Digest (Foundation Center), [§] Jobs, posted Sep. 28, 2008, as accessed Apr. 22 & Jun. 6, 2010. The opening was for a Director of Development.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Public Prep Network management organization, home page, as accessed Apr. 21, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e Public Prep page About Us, as accessed Apr. 21, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Public Prep's schools information, as accessed Apr. 21, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l New Girls Prep School, by Jose B. Rivera, at East Harlem.Com, Jan. 7, 2009, as accessed Apr. 22, 2010. Same article, in East Harlem News, alternative link, as accessed the same day. This article describes plans for Girls Prep in East Harlem, then soon to be opened, based on what was already being done at Girls Prep in the Lower East Side at the time of the article.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Out & About, by Amanda Gordon, in N.Y. Sun, Sep. 27, 2007, p. 2, in New York State Newspapers (Gale (Cengage Learning)) (database) (Full Text) (Gale Document No. CJ169166089), as accessed Feb. 16, 2010.
  8. ^ Kamvar, Schiavoni: Techies with a Cause: The Couple is Out to Decrease the Gender and Socioeconomic Gaps in Computing, by Caroline Winter, in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, June 3, 2010, [§] Technology (online), as accessed Jun. 12, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 2 (p. 3 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010. This document is based on the East Harlem school, and that is modeled on the existing Lower East Side school.
  10. ^ a b c Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 1 (p. 2 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Girls Prep Charter School of the Bronx (K-2), per New York City Charter School Center, as accessed May 6, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Girls Prep Charter School of New York (K-6), per New York City Charter School Center, as accessed May 6, 2010.
  13. ^ An Invitation to Apply for the Position of Director of Student and Family Affairs (Public Prep), as accessed Apr. 22, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Students to Learn Inside the Sonia Sotomayor Room at Girls Prep, by Philissa Cramer, in GothamSchools, [§] Current Events and [§] Newsroom, Jul. 28, 2009, as accessed May 6, 2010.
  15. ^ a b Girls Prep Charter Wants More Space, But Doesn't Want a Fight, by Maura Walz, in GothamSchools, [§] Newsroom, as accessed Apr. 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 5 (p. 6 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  17. ^ An Invitation to Apply for the Position of Academic Intervention Specialist (Public Prep), as accessed Apr. 22, 2010.
  18. ^ a b Battle Over Girls Prep Middle School Intensifies, author unidentified, in The Lo-Down, Dec. 8, 2009, as accessed Apr. 27, 2010.
  19. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 3 (p. 4 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  20. ^ Brill, Steven, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed. Aug., 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4516-1199-1)), pp. 144 & 116 (author teaches journalism, Yale) (Boykin Curry's full name Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, per p. 116).
  21. ^ Brill, Steven, Class Warfare, op. cit., p. 116.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ a b c Public Prep's summary of results, as accessed Apr. 21, 2010.
  24. ^ As accessed May 15, 2010.
  25. ^ Public Prep's website, Contact Us page, as accessed Jun. 12, 2010.
  26. ^ http://publicprep.org/schools/les_middle
  27. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 7 (p. 8 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  28. ^ Friends of Girls Prep home page, as accessed Apr. 22, 2010.
  29. ^ City's Schools Share Space, and Bitterness, with Charters., by Jennifer Medina, in N.Y. Times (Metropolitan Desk), Nov. 30, 2009, p. A1, in New York State Newspapers (Gale (Cengage Learning)) (database) (Full Text) (Gale Document No. A213145558), as accessed Feb. 16, 2010.
  30. ^ Girls Prep 'Storms' City Hall; School Must Grow, They Say, by Helaina N. Hovitz, in The Villager, vol. 79, no. 28, Dec. 16–22, 2009, as accessed Apr. 22, 2010 (single quotation marks in title so in original).
  31. ^ Top School Wins Space Race ("Space" in single quotation marks and all capitals in original article), author unknown, in N.Y. Post, Dec. 16, 2009, p. 35, in New York State Newspapers (Gale (Cengage Learning)) (database) (Full Text) (Gale Document No. CJ214537421), as accessed Feb. 16, 2010.
  32. ^ a b Education Council Urges DOE to Rethink Girls Prep Solution, author unidentified, in The Lo-Down, Dec. 17, 2009, as accessed Apr. 27, 2010.
  33. ^ Parents Protest Expanding Charter School in Manhattan, by WNYC Newsroom, WNYC radio, New York, N.Y., in [§] News, March 29, 2010, as accessed Apr. 27, 2010.
  34. ^ School Closings: Public Advocate to Survey Parents, by Beth Fertig, WNYC radio, New York, N.Y., in [§] News, March 31, 2010, as accessed Apr. 27, 2010.
  35. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), p. 4 (p. 5 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  36. ^ School Folks in Space War, author unknown, in N.Y. Post (News), Dec. 15, 2009, p. 14, in New York State Newspapers (Gale (Cengage Learning)) (database) (Full Text) (Gale Document No. CJ214461624), as accessed Feb. 16, 2010.
  37. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), pp. 3–4 (pp. 4–5 per Adobe Acrobat Reader), as accessed May 6, 2010.
  38. ^ Summary of Findings and Recommendations: Application to Establish the Girls Preparatory Charter School of East Harlem (Charter Schools Institute (State Univ. N.Y.), Aug. 28, 2008), as accessed May 6, 2010.

External links[edit]