"At-Risk" actually means "At-Promise"
by Joyce Coleman, Founder & Executive Director
What does “at-risk” mean at Prestige Preparatory Academy? The one thing it does not mean is we select our students based on academic performance. We accept all boys without question. Our selection policy is you register, we have space, and you become a student!
We receive funding from the state and are required to provide extra services and support to all our boys and parents. Each boy is addressed and served as an individual. Where boys are met where they are academically and socially. Each boy is encouraged to continue to grow to maximize his abilities and capabilities. Our ultimate goal is promise. We believe all our boys could use extra support in guaranteeing and increasing their chances of being successful in a rapidly changing world.
At-risk goes beyond academics and behavior. So many boys can benefit from the “Whole Boy” component offered at Prestige Preparatory Academy. We go above and beyond academics and focus on attributes that could contribute to the other faces of “at-risk” for boys, even some of our most scholarly boys. These include:
Self-awareness means having a solid understanding about who you are and the role you play in the world. Knowing one’s own character, emotions, motives, and ambitions.
Self-management is the act or manner an individual utilizes to handle, direct, or control oneself and taking responsibility for one’s behavior and well-being.
Social awareness means learning about and respecting the dynamics between individuals, groups and communities. Realizing everyone has human rights and regardless to perception, we all need to feel heard, valued, respected, and acknowledged.
Relationship skills are also known as interpersonal skills which are life skills, in short, learning how to get along with others and how to communicate, one-on-one or in a group. Key in strategies to combat ALL forms of bullying
Responsible decision making is the act of how to make choices by effectively forecasting or predicting the outcome of each option based on the situation.
So often society buys into a label and refuse to ask or examine what it really means. As you are your child’s first and most important advocate, please allow me to share with you Prestige Preparatory Academy’s tools that could help you make an informed decision about us. PPA is a quality charter school that will meet the academic and social needs of ALL boys through a rigorous curriculum combined with diverse programs and activities. The Charter Committee of Prestige Preparatory Academy wants the best for children, especially the youth of Charleston County, and definitely for our rising K-4th grade boys! We are eager to enhance and challenge our boys’ educational journey.
In Coe Booth’s book Tyrell, she shares this quote.
“Starting in first grade, them teachers took one look at me and started putting me in programs for at-risk kids, then at-risk boys, then at-risk teenagers. Personally, I ain’t never knew what the **** I was s’posed to be at risk of except growing up Black, but ain’t no program I know of gonna change that.”
Think about it, for Tyrell, at risk is a perception, a perception of society. Please, let’s move beyond the label and grow together making a difference for our boys! jhc
What Prestige Preparatory Academy does differently:
Boys are energized and motivated by movement. Our boys receive physical education classes 3 times a week, recess twice daily, and frequent breaks during the day.
Boys are relational and do their best when the faculty and staff establish authentic relationships of trust and respect. Our boys are known by name and interests. We strive to LISTEN, respond to questions, concerns, and ideas to create confidence. Relating at multi-levels from the start to the end of each day.
Boys thrive on sensory/kinesthetic (hands-on) experiences to promote learning and increase retention. Prestige Preparatory Academy teaches a rigorous expeditionary (project-based) and student-directed curriculum all in an interdisciplinary format.
Boys respond well to explicit directions, high expectations and positive reinforcement. We encourage our boys to hold oneself accountable and responsible for attributes such as self-control, honesty, courage, persistence, dependability, and compassion to build character.
Our boys accept the mindset of "brother's keep" to promote congenial respect and confident self-esteem.