As the founder of Scholar Academies and former CEO of Young Scholars Charter School, I am thrilled to update you on the progress of our two Philadelphia-based schools.
Young Scholars Charter School, our flagship school and a Schools That Can member, had its most successful year yet. Young Scholars anticipates maintaining its status as the highest-performing charter middle school in the City of Philadelphia for the third consecutive year. Proficiencies for 7th and 8th grade students, who have been enrolled at Young Scholars for 2 or more years, dramatically outpaced last year’s District PSSA results by over 20 percentage points. Math and Reading proficiencies were 80% and 74% respectively in 7th grade; and 74% and 77% in 8th grade. The 8th grade results were the best ever produced by the school in Math, Science, and Writing. Young Scholars Charter School effectively closed the achievement gap against last year’s State proficiency scores.
Young Scholars Frederick Douglass Charter School, our first-year turnaround school, demonstrated gains as well. The school team is eager to begin Year 2 of driving quality instruction and instilling Scholar Academies’ model for school culture and values—Prepared/Professional, Attentive, Thoughtful and Hardworking (PATH). In just one year under Scholar Academies’ management, Young Scholars Douglass—a historically underperforming school— witnessed increases in both Math and Reading proficiencies and reductions in below basic performance. Young Scholars Douglass’ growth in its first year is comparable to the growth of schools managed by other successful charter organizations in the first year of turnaround – an indicator that we believe supports the fact that our students are on the PATH to success.
In the next three years, Scholar Academies seeks to operate 6 schools serving more than 3,000 students in regional-based clusters including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and we are waiting for Charter approval to expand to Trenton, NJ. Included in our portfolio of schools will be one high-performing high school. Throughout our work, we are motivated to provide unparalleled school management and support to each Scholar Academies’ campus. To do this, Scholar Academies has increased its home office staff and has a strategic plan in place to support our continued growth.
Finally, Scholar Academies welcomed the 2011-2012 class of teachers, most of whom are returning members of the Scholar Academies team. We are thrilled to begin a new school year, and anticipate extraordinary results.
CEO, Scholar Academies