Camelot’s success with accelerated school in Chicago leads to launch of two additional sites
(Chicago,IL – September 27, 2013)
Camelot has begun its second year in Chicago with the launch of two new schools in addition to the original Excel Academy Chicago.
That school performed so well in its initial year – and the need to serve overage and under-credited students is so great – that the Chicago School District asked Camelot to add a second accelerated high school and a transitional school.
Like the original in the Roseland community, the new accelerated school in Englewood will serve 375 students while the transitional school, Camelot Academy of Chicago, is helping 150 students.
“There are literally tens of thousands of students in Chicago who are not in school. Many others have fallen years behind their grade level,” said Camelot CEO Todd Bock. “We demonstrated in our first year in Chicago that these students can thrive in the Camelot culture and we are quickly seeing similar results at the two new sites.”
The Chicago School District refers to programs like Camelot’s as “option schools.” District CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has said Camelot and other providers give principals of main stream public schools an alternative for students who have fallen off track. She said when principals don’t have these options of places to send vulnerable students, “children disappear.”
All three Camelot schools are on the city’s South Side. Pedro Segarra who oversees Camelot’s Chicago locations says the schools work hand-in-hand with the faith-based community.
“Churches in these communities play a major role in helping families make the right choices. The pastors who have evaluated our programs and mission have seen that we deliver the behavioral and academic environment that help students turn themselves around and take advantage of the opportunity afforded them,” Mr. Segarra said.
Tyree Booker is now in his second year as executive director at Excel Academy of Roseland. Kevin Sweetland is the new executive director at Excel Academy of Englewood. Both got their pre-Chicago Camelot experience in Philadelphia, where Camelot has operated for 10 years. Joseph Haley is the executive director at Camelot Academy of Chicago, which serves students in grades 6-12 who have been expelled from public school.
“Ideally, we will have a student between three months to a year. Once we resolve any behavioral issues and get them on the right track academically some of our high school students can transition to Excel Academy to catch up and graduate,” Haley said.
Given the outstanding results Camelot is producing, CEO Bock anticipates more school openings in the future.
“Over the next five years, Chicago plans on doubling the number of alternative education seats in the district from about 10,000 to 20,000. We hope to earn several more sites – and help hundreds more students – through our performance,” Bock said.