We are excited to announce that Aspire Public Schools is our #1 top nonprofit in Bay Area middle-secondary education. Our experts said Aspire has produced a replicable model for the successful education of minority and low-income students. They serve thousands of students in 25 schools (in more than 92% of districts in CA), with 67% free and reduced lunch students. Data reveals year after year improvement consistently across all of their schools. Their API across the entire network is 816. When their overall API score is compared to districts with 10+ schools, and 50%+ free and reduced lunch students, Aspire ranks first out of 129 schools.
This is Angel’s story, a student at an Aspire Public School:
Angel’s story is typical of many students to come to EPAPA from other districts. More often than not, students like Angel are coming from a background where they are deficient in a great many areas. They are behind the curve academically, emotionally, and socially. The challenge for them is to get back on the right track and start heading towards college.
One of the safe guards to prevent EPAPA students from falling more than a week behind in school work is to attend Thursday Think Tank sessions after school. At the Think Tank, students are required to make up all missed assignments and late work. Sometimes, these students and teachers will be at school as late at 10 or 11 pm. Angel was a constant participant in the sessions during his first couple of months at EPAPA. Many times he was the last student there. “For the first three or four weeks Angel would spend most of the time crying and complaining,” Madson recounted. “Eventually, we had to bring his whole family in as a support mechanism.” Angel’s family made quite a sight at the Thursday sessions. As the youngest member and only boy, Angel had his sisters and parents hovering over him for weeks. His sisters would walk him through math while his parents would sit and help him with other incomplete class work. Despite having his sisters and parents there, little progress seemed to be made.
This particular Thursday Think Tank started out in typical fashion, with Angel fighting his way through the session – still crying and still threatening to leave the school. Until he finished all his work. Early. In fact, he was one of the first students to finish that afternoon. The entire class, realizing a breakthrough had happened, all paused for a moment before giving Angel a standing ovation for his achievement. Not to be outdone, Madson and his staff rushed to Angel and embraced him in a gigantic group bear hug.
Angel is now passing his college preparatory courses and actively talking about college. Although it is still three and half years away, Madson can see the light at the end of the tunnel for Angel. But he also realizes that there is still a long way to go to get him to the end result. “We look at it like a triangle,” Madson said. “To get these kids to college, it takes the school, the family and the students to get them there.” With support both at home and school, Angel now has the framework to continue his journey towards graduation and beyond. He is on the path to college.
(Learn more here: http://www.aspirepublicschools.org/newsletter/0309/02.html)
To learn more about Aspire Public Schools and their impact, read the expert reviews here.