A charter school sets students on new course toward college or career success

SUCCESS STORY

A charter school sets students on new course toward college or career success

Franklinton Preparatory Academy, Columbus, Ohio

“Since we opened our doors I have mothers in tears telling me that for the first time in 10 years their children are excited about coming to school,” explains Marty Griffith, Principal and founder of Franklinton Preparatory Academy. The affluent downtown skyline of Columbus, Ohio is just a quarter mile from Franklinton, one of the oldest and most underserved communities in the area. In 1982 two schools closed leaving holes in the fabric of the community. Since then the area has continued to decline; presently approximately 50 percent of residents live at or below the Federal Poverty Index and only 20 to 25 percent of students graduate high school.

Franklinton Preparatory Academy opened its doors August 2013 putting low-performing students on a path toward success in school and a career. Through personalized education plans students take responsibility for their own learning, are given opportunities for internships and guidance toward jobs once they graduate.

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Franklinton Preparatory Academy Sets a High Goal

Administrators commit to high achievement to help put students on path toward success.

25%

Franklinton Adults with High School Diploma

100%

Franklinton Preparatory Academy Graduation Goal

But there is new hope. In August of 2013, Franklinton Preparatory Academy (Franklinton), housed in one of the former school buildings opened as a private charter school. The well-developed support system and teaching staff at Franklinton will help each student chart their own course through high school and their future. Grouped into cohorts, students are given guidance to help them reach graduation and plan for their future. Everyone involved at Franklinton is working to change the trajectory path of their students, from one with no focus to one guided by talents, hopes, dreams and achievements that leads to either college or some type of a career.

“Because this area has been underserved for so long students come to us performing two to three grades below where they should be,” explains Marty. “That is why GradPoint® works so well for us. It allows us to individualize education for our students, but it also allows us to do it in a whole classroom environment.” With the use of the blended learning model, the flipped classroom structure, and self-paced courses through GradPoint, a set of online courses and services now part of the Pearson Connexus suite of offerings, students will be participants in their learning. Through the use of the blended learning model, the flipped classroom structure and self-paced courses through GradPoint, students will be participants in their learning. This approach will allow students to remediate any areas of weaknesses, build upon their strengths and develop their self-confidence. Marty continues, “It’s re-establishing confidence in their own academic ability, because our kids have been underperforming for years and they have not tasted what it means to be successful for a while. So we can build up their confidence, let them taste success and with success comes a taste for more.”

With capabilities to track student skills and progress since the first day the doors opened, Franklinton is able to collect data to inform how well students are progressing, areas of difficulty and what is working and not working in their system. This information allows them to correct teacher and student paths in real time. “We researched best practices in curriculum, instruction, assessment, teacher training, school leadership and we looked at A-rated schools serving similar student populations. We matched our findings with our student population and selected the best instructional model to ensure that every student graduates with a life plan for success. With the team we have put together, our teachers, our community members and with Pearson, we know we will be able to move the needle on academic performance,” said Marty.

With the team we have put together, our teachers, our community members and with Pearson, we know we will be able to move the needle on academic performance.

Marty Griffith

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