2017-18 Public Prep Annual Report
LAST YEAR WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR FOR PUBLIC PREP.
We are nearly complete in fully transforming a dilapidated South Bronx building into what will become the 85,000 sq ft permanent home for Boys Prep Bronx. As a network, Public Prep far surpassed the rates of growth by the district, city and state on the New York State English Language Arts and Math exams. And surpassing the performance of the Class of 2013, a stunning ninety-one percent of the Class of 2014 - four years after graduating from Girls Prep as 8th graders - were accepted into some of the finest colleges and universities in the country.
Since Girls Prep opened in 2005 with just 90 girls in the first all-girls public charter school in NYC, Public Prep now educates nearly 2,000 scholars PreK through 8th grade on its five Girls Prep Lower East Side, Girls Prep Bronx and Boys Prep Bronx campuses. Girls Prep has nearly 500 alumnae from six graduating classes of exiting 8th graders, the oldest of whom are now enrolled as freshman or sophomores at prestigious colleges such as Yale, Howard, Skidmore, Tufts, Cornell and Brandeis.
Yet we know there is more that Public Prep can and must do to ensure our youngest scholars are better prepared socially and academically for school, even before they enter Kindergarten. And learning from more senior charter school networks that have surprisingly low, six-year college completion rates, there is more Public Prep can and must do to graduate 8th grade scholars who will thrive in “right-fit,” high-performing public, private, or parochial high schools, and ultimately earn a degree, on-time from a four-year college or university.
This is why moving forward, we are framing our work as “18 to 18," describing our commitment to engage learners as young as 18 months old, all the way through supporting our alumni through age 18, to help them attain 30 credits in the first year of college, a key predictor of on-time, college completion.
On the front-end, these new initiatives include partnering with Sesame Workshop to open PrePrep II: The Joan Ganz Cooney Early Learning Program in 2018-19, as our second, co-ed UPK program for four-year olds. It also includes a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Parent-Child Home Program. This initiative will allow siblings — as young as 18 months old — of current Boys Prep and Girls Prep Bronx scholars to receive nearly one hundred home visits by an early literacy specialist over a two-year period to build the capacity of the child and the child’s caregiver around vocabulary and school readiness.
On the back-end, this means Public Prep has hired its first-ever Director of Alumni Engagement and College Completion to provide experiential opportunities and build systems to support our 500 alumni in high school and college. It also means creating a new course, Pathways to Power, designed to empower our graduating 8th grade scholars to build personal agency by developing an economic, social and academic framework for making decisions. This is crucial as our graduating 8th graders embark upon the next twelve years of their lives in high school, college and young adulthood, when critical choices are made that will have lifelong rewards or consequences.
As we enter a new year, our leadership team is even more determined to ensure Public Prep is a lasting institution that will educate generations of young women and men to become resilient and empathetic leaders with bold intellect, knowledgeable and curious about the world.
Thank you for helping us fulfill this mission.