Excel Academy South Shines for National Conference Visitors
Philadelphia played host to this year’s national Re-Engagement Conference and when it came time to tour a model school, the School District chose Camelot’s Excel Academy South.
Excel Academy was the first of Camelot’s accelerated programs when it opened in 2004. The results in helping students who had fallen way behind catch up and graduate have been outstanding from the start and have led to Camelot’s many other accelerated programs in other districts.
When the Philadelphia School District opened the Re-Engagement Center, it was a first-of-its-kind in the nation – a place where under-credited students, some who dropped out, others who may not have been successful in the conventional learning environments – could go to find a way back toward a diploma. Students are tested in reading and math and discuss their background and then the center tries to match them with a school that will give the student the best chance to succeed.
The opening of the office set a new direction for alternative education. Before the office opened, students were assigned to schools based on space availability more than the best fit.
This was the first year the national conference was held in Philadelphia, and Camelot was pleased to be showcased on the tour.
“The visitors were very impressed by our students and how they interacted with them,” said Camelot’s Regional Director Scott Cruttenden. “The kids loved it.”
Visitors included representatives from school districts in New York, Boston and elsewhere.
“I think they were taken aback by the students’ stories,” Cruttenden said. “You had kids that came from both ends of the high school spectrum in Philadelphia, and some way, somehow the students came together as a cohort and now they’re all graduating. They each have their own unique success story but as a whole they have their group success story.”