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They Don’t Know…Because No One’s Told Being in the Know! Who knew that my daughter would have the opportunity to go to a charter school that not only taught classes far advanced than the public school system but were focused on two areas that public schools never concentrate on; taught from kindergarten to be and think “college bound” and to take responsibility for their own actions. The disciplinary code is not just to do scholar work but taught what’s needed to take the steps to be a scholar. A child can be intelligent or taught on an advanced learning plain but if they cannot behave on a scholar’s level then it’s like teaching backwards. This school was not in a predominately white neighborhood or outside of the city pushed away in the wooded areas of Connecticut but right smack dab in our urban community; Bridgeport Connecticut’s East Side. Achievement First Bridgeport Academy has exceeded my expectations of a charter school since day one. My daughter began in the entering class of 2011’s graduates. My mother who is a very politically active came across enrollment, which was the best thing that could ever have happened for her. Thank God there was someone; “In the Know”. I can’t judge too much because like a lot of urban moms I was not able to be involved in her school activities. I can imagine how thin stretched the single working mom/guardian is. But if we do not come together and volunteer the little free time we have for our children in the public school system they will be at a loss. So let’s step in the know for our children. The journey may take some sacrifice but hey, these are our children! So for now here are a few tips on how to start advocating for our children’s search for the A1 choice high school for our children. For our early bird parents don’t just start these prep steps in the 8th grade but as early as 5th grade. All kids should be college bound. Steps Start looking for schools based upon the child’s likes and strengths. Narrow the list down to no more than four schools. A choice of high schools can be Googled. i.e. If your child loves art you may want to start in top art schools in (your city) or (state). If the choices are boarding school type in boarding schools with a concentration in art. Then you can narrow the schools down by tuition; ask about financial aid because some school’s aid help can be low to even $0. Ask about scholarships and even sponsorships. Some of the more expensive schools have a list of sponsors who will help or even pay 100% tuition. Start your children in extracurricular activities; groups at school. (i.e. the glee club, garden club, reading clubs, sports (at least one), academic clubs.) You may even want to get them active in the community; volunteering. Don’t think if you start them in the 8th grade that schools won’t notice that. It doesn’t look favorable. Being active on the student council is a good look as well. Attention 7th and 8th grade students….and their moms. GRADES are very important at this stage. High schools really reflect on how well your children do in the 7th and 8th grade. So where there is slack get those grades up. Tutoring, staying after school and doing whatever needs to be done to get the grades up. The higher the grades the better chance they have at choice schools, scholarships and sponsorship. Check the local libraries, ask guidance counselors, ask your church to start a tutoring group. You must do what you can to get the help they need. There should be plenty of info on the internet as well about tutoring at $0 cost.

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