Successfully Partnering with Charter Schools
In addition to Camelot’s traditional mission of working with school districts to help students who have been unable to succeed in main stream classrooms, we are increasingly also helping charter school operators with turnaround schools. These are schools that had been performing so poorly that the school district handed them over to charter operators in the hope they could do a better job.
The (Philadelphia) Public School Notebook in a recent article noted the way Camelot’s Excel Academy is helping charter operator ASPIRA with its programs. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The Excel Academy offers academics to another challenging group: youth ages 16 to 21 who are at risk for dropping out for financial reasons or because of incarceration, pregnancy or other family situations. Excel is run off-campus by Camelot Schools, which operates two other such accelerated programs for the District.
Sadiqa Lucas, executive director, said some of her Latino students had left school out of frustration. “Latino students have a lot of pride,” Lucas said. “They don’t want to go to a school where the school just wants them to sit in a [nonfunctioning] classroom, where they’re going to be bullied, where the teachers don’t know them by name.”
Both Excel and ASPIRA reassure them, she said: “We want you to get your diploma, and then we want to know what you’re going to do next. What’s your plan? What are your goals?”
Daily attendance among 110 students is at 88 percent, she said. She projects that 70 of 78 seniors will graduate in June.
Great job, Ms. Lucas!