Coral Gables Preparatory Academy
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Coral Gables Preparatory Academy Lower Academy
(listed as Coral Gables Elementary School)
|Location||Coral Gables, Florida|
|Architectural style||Mission/Spanish Revival, other|
|NRHP reference #||88000750|
|Added to NRHP||June 30, 1988|
Coral Gables Preparatory Academy, formerly Coral Gables Elementary School, is a public K-8 school in Coral Gables, Florida. A part of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, it has its elementary school classes in the Lower Academy, in the former Coral Gables Elementary building, while the middle school classes are in the Upper Academy at the Merrick Educational Center. The school was given its current name in 2010.
The lower academy facility is a historic school building designed by the architect Richard Kiehnel of Kiehnel and Elliott. It is located at 105 Minorca Avenue. On June 30, 1988, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Coral Gables Elementary School opened as Coral Gables Grammar School in October 1923, with 39 pupils and one teacher, Mary Feaster Jackson. Abigail Gilday served as its first principal until 1945.
The school was financed and built by George Merrick, founder of Coral Gables, with the understanding that the Dade County School Board would repay him $10,000 for the land and $25,000 for the school building. Upon completion of the third phase, in 1926 the school had grown to 1,000 students.
Because Merrick believed that "beautiful things inspire higher ideals in the minds of children," he commissioned the nationally known architectural firm of Kiehnel & Elliott to build a school of Spanish colonial architecture. In recognition of the school's major role in the architectural and cultural history of Coral Gables, it was made a "City of Coral Gables Landmark" in 1982, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Between 1936 and 1948, Coral Gables Grammar School included grades 7 and 8. In 1970, in response to a federal court order for desegregation of the Dade County Public Schools, the school was paired with George Washington Carver Elementary and became a kindergarten, 3-6 center. Today Coral Gables Elementary (CGE) is paired with Carver Elementary and Sunset Elementary in the District's Controlled Choice Program, which allows students to be assigned in grades K-5 based on school boundaries, space availability, parental choice and random selection.
Located in the middle of a still-growing international city, CGE reflects the ethnic and international flavor of the city of Coral Gables near the offices of more than 100 multinational corporations. CGE serves families from all socioeconomic backgrounds, including the affluent middle class and many recent immigrants from developing nations in Latin America. 26% of its students qualified for free and reduced lunch. CGE's population is 33% White non-Hispanic, 61% Hispanic, 2% Black non-Hispanic and 4% other non-Hispanic. 12% are limited English proficient and 33% qualify for the Exceptional Student Education Program.
Coral Gables Elementary houses a full-time gifted program with 223 students in first through fifth grade. The school also provides an Extended Foreign Language Program (EFL) Program in Spanish for students and a Special Education Program (SPED) that provides services to 13% of the students.
One of CGE's strengths is its partnership with the parents and the community. The school received the prestigious Five Star School Award in 2008 for its business partnerships, community involvement, volunteerism, student community service, and school advisory councils. It currently has 411 active school volunteers that assist with a multitude of programs. They work diligently to provide success to school programs such as KinderKlub, P.A.I.R tutoring, Media Center, BookFair, Halloween Carnival, Family Fun Day, Wacky Wednesday, and the Kindergarten Art Program.
The school has established a partnership with the Coral Gables Museum and will be doing activities with the students. The first such activity is a canvas pictorial that the students created under the direction of art teacher Ms. Bushman. The pictorials depict historic places in the Gables.
The school has received the following awards:
- Five Star School Award, 2007-2008 school year
- Proclamation from Miami Dade County Public Schools for being in the top 4% of all of the elementary schools in the state of Florida
- Platinum Award 2003, present for the "A" designation
- Florida Sterling Council – Sterling Challenge, June 2005
- Golden School Award for Volunteerism, 1989–present
- Average daily student attendance is over 96%.
- Student test scores are on the rise and well above district and national norms.
- CGE's Geography Club came in the top five schools for the last six years in the countywide competition from over 70 public and private schools.
- Website provides podcasts for parents on topics of: reading, writing, school success, FCAT Explorer, Health and Fitness.
- Honor roll assemblies are conducted every quarter with an average of 99 students participating in the Principal's Honor Roll.
- Student of the Month assembly is held on a monthly basis.
- Do the Right Thing Program
- CGE provides an avenue for the “holistic” child to learn and grow. Through the CCTV program students are encouraged to share extracurricular activities and community projects that they are involved in.
- Reach Out and Speak Out Program provides all students with a venue to serve their community and also practice public speaking.
- Fine Arts Program allows students to participate in chorus and violin while all 5th graders look forward to the traditional holiday show which is televised each year by the City of Coral Gables and showcased on the cable channel throughout the year.
- Member of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Home Archived 2016-01-07 at the Wayback Machine." Coral Gables Preparatory Academy. Retrieved on January 4, 2016. "Lower Academy 105 Minorca Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33134" and "Upper Academy 39 Zamora Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134"
- "CORAL GABLES K-8 PREPARATORY ACADEMY TO OPEN ITS DOORS FOR THE 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR." Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Wednesday, August 18, 2010. Retrieved on January 4, 2016.
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