ANNUAL REPORT 2012-2013
Dear Friends and Colleagues, This past year has been filled with many highlights for Democracy Prep Public Schools. The most exciting was the graduation of our first-ever senior class of scholars. Our inaugural graduation was held at the famed Apollo Theater; with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the keynote speaker. Even more impressive, every scholar in our inaugural senior class was accepted to at least ten 4-year institutions of higher learning. Seth Andrew, the founder of Democracy Prep, graduated with our inaugural class. Seth built Democracy Prep from a mere idea to a network of high-performing schools in a few short years. He is a true visionary who has unlimited energy and an unstoppable passion to help children in Harlem change the course of their lives. The school that began with Seth’s vision has grown to see our scholars travel to five continents, register thousand New Yorkers to vote, coordinate Get Out the Vote drives, lobbi elected officials and celebrate two presidential inaugurations. We believe Democracy Prep scholars have shown remarkable growth for many reasons: because we have great teachers, because we employ the “no excuses” model, because we balance rigor and joy, but most importantly because we believe every one of them will Work Hard, Go to College, and Change the World! Having already started the new school year, we are able to reflect on the amazing successes and growth of last year. It gives us great pride to share our 2012-13 Annual Report. Sincerely,
Ryan Offutt Chair, Board of Trustees
Katie Duffy Chief Executive Officer
WHO WE ARE Democracy Prep Public Schools, founded in 2005, is a growing network of free, open-enrollment, high-performing, “no excuses” public charter schools. In the 2013-14 school year we now educate more than 2,400 scholars in grades K-12 in nine schools in Harlem and Camden, New Jersey. By proving that all students, regardless of where they are born or their initial academic performance, can achieve at extremely high academic levels, we transform the lives of our students and raise the expectations for public schools across the nation. At Democracy Prep both scholars and staff alike live by our DREAM values: Discipline, Respect, Enthusiasm, Accountability, Maturity. These values infuse all aspects of a Democracy Prep education.
TENETS OF DEMOCRACY PREP
The Democracy Prep model is built on the best practices of “no excuses” charter networks nationwide. These networks have proven, for more than 20 years, that demographics do not determine destiny and that low-income students can be successful in the college of their choice. Democracy Prep enhances this “no excuses” model by adding three additional unique program elements.
The “no excuses” model elements:
If a child attends Democracy Prep from K through 12th grade he or she will receive a decade more instructional time than a student at a traditional public school.
All scholars study two hours of math, three hours of literacy, one hour each of science, and social studies every day plus art, theater, music, technology and physical education.
Our teachers and staff provide a warm and supportive culture to foster joy in the classroom so that scholars are excited to learn.
We hire just 1% of applicants to Democracy Prep. Once here, our teachers receive ongoing feedback and professional development.
We use frequent data collection and analysis including interim assessments and comparative academic measures to drive effective instruction and decision-making.
Democracy Prep’s three additional unique program elements:
Civics education and engagement are tenets of a Democracy Prep education, because we believe all schools should be preparing students to become active citizens in our democracy.
We take all students regardless of their academic or behavioral standings. 99% of our scholars are students of color, 85% qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 18% are identified as having special needs.
We believe that our core programs should be sustainable with the public dollars received from the city, state, and federal government to demonstrate what’s possible.
Democracy Prep Public Schools is currently made up of five Charters running nine schools, and the Charter Management Organization (CMO). It is the job of the CMO to provide support and services so that the school leaders and teachers can focus solely on teaching. The CMO provides academic and curricular support, recruites all new talent, handles human resources, deals with finances, provides data management and analysis, assists with operations, provides support for events and handles all external communications.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Ryan Offutt, Chair, RDO Equipment Co. Carlos Lejnieks, Vice-Chair, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties Pallavi Verma, Treasurer, Accenture Seth Andrew, Democracy Prep Public Schools Allison Downey, weeSpring Katie Duffy, Democracy Prep Public Schools Justin Fong, Teach for America Chris Kraus, Jones Lang LaSalle Jeri Powell, StudentsFirst
DPPS FINANCIALS TO COME
DEMOCRACY PREP CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter Authorizer:
New York City Department of Education
Board of Trustees: Josh Pristaw, Chair, GTIS Partners Jessica Campbell Leggett, Treasurer Dan Rosenberg, MediaMath Katie Duffy, Democracy Prep Public Schools Lee Dunst, Gibson Dunn Joshua Morales, Antares Venture Solutions Dr. Robert North, Harlem Hospital (retired) Damian Travier, The Jackie Robinson Foundation Gregory Weston, Pillsbury Law Ken Weiller, Saba Capital Management, L.P.
Democracy Prep Charter High School provides a rigorous college preparatory education for all scholars. Democracy Prep Charter High School scholars have earned an average 93% pass rate for on the English Regents, Integrated Algebra Regents, Chemistry Regents, Global History Regents, and most recently, the Korean LOTE exam. We nurture our scholars' civics soul with many civic engagement opportunities as well a rigorous Civics Seminar during their senior year. The school has received a “A” grade from the New York City Board of Education in it’s first year of eligibility. Leaders: Principal: Lisa Frisia |Assistant Principal: Natasha Trivers Enrollment: 321 Grades: 9th – 12th Extracurricular Activities: Korean Mask Dancing, Basketball, Softball, Soccer, Fencing, Cheerleading, Theater, Art, Dance, Tae Kwon Do, Computer Programming, Ink Literary Magazine, Yearbook Committee, Latino Caucus, Gay Straight Alliance, Mock UN, Ethics Bowl
Democracy Prep Charter Middle School is the network’s flagship school. It first opened its doors in August 2006. Because of the tremendous growth our scholars have demonstrated each year, Democracy Prep Charter School was ranked the number one public middle school and the number one charter school in the entire city in 2010. Democracy Prep Charter Middle School has received an “A” from the New York City Board of Education for the past six years. Upon completion of 8th Grade, scholars transition to Democracy Prep Charter High School where they continue on their paths to success in college and citizenship. Leaders: Principal: Tanya Nuñez | Assistant Principal: Ajaka Roth Enrollment: 326 Grades: 6th – 8th Extracurricular Activities: A Cappella, Basketball, Chess, Film to Print, Flag Football, Independent Study, Knitting, Lacrosse, Math Counts, Music Composition, T'ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Fencing, Tennis, Theater, Track, Typing, Word Wizards, Zumba
college acceptance We are exceedingly proud of the Democracy Prep Charter High School class of 2017, our founding senior class. Our scholars were accepted at more than 215 4-year colleges and universities. Each graduate got into an average of ten schools.
DEMOCRACY PREP CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL COLLEGE ATTENDANCE Albright College
John Jay College
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Medgar Evers College
Buffalo State College
University of Buffalo
University of Rochester
College of Mount St. Vincent
US Naval Academy
CUNY York College
DEMOCRACY PREP CHARTER SCHOOLS
DEMOCRACY PREP HARLEM CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter Authorizer:
New York City Department of Education
Board of Trustees: Dr. Robert North, Chair, Harlem Hospital Blondel Pinnock, Treasurer, Carver Community Development Corporation Seth Andrew, Democracy Prep Public Schools Katie Duffy, Democracy Prep Public Schools Stephen Gordon, Newmark Knight Frank Eric Ozawa, New York University Helen Walter, NBC Universal Sean Windsor, Houlihan Lokey
Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School is modeled on Democracy Prepâ€™s flagship school. Graduating eighth graders will now go on to attend our newly opened Democracy Prep Harlem High School, where they will continue on their path to success in college and citizenship. Leaders: Principal: Emmanuel George | Assistant Principal: Matthew Buxton Enrollment: 323 Grades: 6th â€“ 8th Extracurricular Activities: Computer Club, Flag football, Co-ed Volley ball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Co-ed Softball, Baseball, Co-ed Soccer, Cheerleading, Fencing, Gardening Club, Percussion Ensemble, Running Club, African Dance, Korean Dance, Tae Kwon Do
DEMOCRACY PREP ENDURANCE CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter Authorizer:
New York State Education Department
Board of Trustees: Khary Barnes, Chair, American Express Craig Canton, Treasurer, MF Global LLC Katie Duffy, Democracy Prep Public Schools Sonya Crosswell, Carver Federal Savings Bank Ross Frommer, Columbia University Christina Grant, Great Oaks Charter School Rashida La Lande, Gibson Dunn Josh Lotstein, Teach For America Donald Porter, Dalton, Greiner, Hartman, Maher & Co.
The newest member of the Democracy Prep family, Democracy Prep Endurance seeks to build on the success of the Democracy Prep Public Schools model and ensure even more young men and women are on the path to success in college and citizenship. In order to master a rigorous college-prep curriculum and fulfill their potential as actively engaged citizens, Endurance scholars draw inspiration from the heroic exploits of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary nautical explorer who led his crew of 28 men to safety after his ship, the Endurance, sank off the Antarctic coast in 1915. By internalizing Democracy Prep's core DREAM values and the characteristics exhibited by Lord Shackleton, scholars will develop the fortitude and character to thrive in DPE's â€œno excusesâ€? culture. Leader: Campus Director: Margaret Marrer Enrollment: 111 Grades: 6th (7th & 8th when fully grown) Extracurricular Activities: Step Team, Mock Trial, Math Team, DREAM Chorus, Spring Musical, Student Council, Soccer, Flag Football, Co-Ed Volleyball, Boys' Basketball, Girls' Basketball, Co-Ed Softball, Baseball, Co-Ed Soccer
HARLEM PREP CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter Authorizer:
State University of New York
Board of Trustees: Douglas Snyder, Chair, Starboard Value, L.P. Colin Beirne, Treasurer, Two Sigma Investments Seth Andrew, Democracy Prep Public Schools Roger Berg, Pillsbury Law Jamal Epps, JP Morgan Jake Foley, Houlihan Lokey Preston Henske, Bain & Company Chris Jackson, Probitas Partners Tom Kearney, The Wicks Group Anthony Manley, Catapult Learning Kellie Zesch, Chilton Investment Company
In March 2011, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute approved Democracy Prep to turn around Harlem Day Charter School, a failing elementary school in East Harlem. The immediate effects were staggering. In their first year, Harlem Prep’s scholars achieved the highest proficiency growth scores in English Language Arts (ELA) in New York State and the highest combined proficiency growth scores in ELA and Math in New York City. To attain these dramatic results, Harlem Prep’s DREAM team worked tirelessly to deliver our rigorous and structured model to the same students in the same building, turning the school into a high-performing elementary school where students are prepared for success in both college and citizenship. Although much ground remains to be covered, the turnaround has unequivocally proven that it was not the kids, but rather the adults in the building, that led to persistently low academic achievement. Leaders: Principal: Lindsay Malanga | Assistant Principal: Tameka Royal Enrollment: 294 Grades: K – 4th Extracurricular Activities: Fencing, Performing Arts, Music, Physical Education, Technology, Step
To satisfy insistent demand for an excellent middle school in East Harlem, Democracy Prep sought permission to expand the Harlem Prep turnaround charter to include grades six through eight. With the SUNY Charter Schools Institute having approved this request, Harlem Prep Charter Middle School opened its doors in Fall 2012 to ensure that Harlem Prep's scholars were able to continue progressing on the path to success in college and citizenship upon completion of grade five. Drawing on deep reserves of grit, scholars grapple daily with Harlem Prep's rigorous college-prep curriculum and will continue to work hard so that they will go to college and change the world! Leaders: Principal: Lindsay Malanga | Assistant Principal: Kim Dacres Enrollment: 156 Grades: 5th – 6th (6th – 8th when fully grown) Extracurricular Activities: Step, Flag Football, Soccer, Basketball, and Tae Kwon Do
HARLEM PREP CHARTER SCHOOLS
AFFILIATED PROGRAMS Democracy Prep Public Schools has created several mission-aligned organizations that assist us in the work of educating our scholars. DEMOCRACY BUILDERS
CITIZENSHIPFIRST CitizenshipFirst aims to become the country’s most creative driver of civic-education innovation through curriculum, advocacy, in-school programs, research and reports. It is critical for schools to cultivate the knowledge, skills and dispositions that students need for a lifetime of engaged citizenship, especially in underserved communities such as Harlem, New York where CitizenshipFirst is based. Our founding fathers didn’t see school as a place to create workers. They aspired to ensure that American citizens would be able to participate in our democracy as informed and engaged citizens. At a time when our country faces profound challenges, both at home and abroad, it’s an idea that’s never been more timely or relevant. We support education with our tax dollars-because the public purpose of education is CitizenshipFirst.
Democracy Builders was founded in 2005, with the mission of increasing parent choice for excellent public schools. Since its inception Democracy Builders has organized tens of thousands of parents at more than 50 schools in New York. In 2010, Democracy Builders expanded to serve schools in six additional states with parent training, student recruitment, and advocacy campaigns. The Democracy Builders training model prepares parents for civic engagement and uses a “train-the-trainer” approach to dramatically impact communities through grass-roots advocacy. Parents have used these skills to help secure facilities for their schools, increase the charter cap, eliminate the funding-freeze on public charter schools, and pass the school reform measures needed to help win New York’s Race To The Top grant.
LEADER U Democracy Prep is in a period of exceptional growth. For successful expansion we need a strong pipeline of leaders. By 2018 Democracy Prep will have as many as 25 schools in multiple regions. Leader U is Democracy Prep’s pioneering school leadership-training program. Immersing Leader U Fellows in rigorous leadership training, Democracy Prep cultivates talent from the classroom to the network level. To ensure the most comprehensive leadership training, Democracy Prep partners with Building Excellent Schools, an organization that molds motivated educators into successful leaders of no-excuses urban charter schools.
The widening gap in college completion rates between rich and poor students undermines the essential American notions of equal opportunity, liberty, and justice for all. Alumni Revolution aims to close this gap by offering high-quality academic, financial, advocacy, and emotional support to low-income, first-generation college students. Our team is comprised of first-generation college graduates who offer a unique and authentic voice in the education reform and college completion community. Our mission is to equip scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship.
special events A joyous culture is one of the main tenets of a Democracy Prep education. To that end we organize several events throughout the year for scholars, teachers and supporters. During the 2012-13 school year events included: the Are You Smarter than a Democracy Prep Scholar? Fundraiser, the Youth Speaks Mayoral Candidate Forum, our 4th Annual Korea Night, and…
PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION WATCH PARTY – January 5, 2013 1,500 scholars, family members, staff, media, elected officials and community members gathered at the Harlem Armory to celebrate both the presidential inauguration and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dozens of our scholars performed, speeches were given, lunch was eaten and then we all watched President Obama be sworn in for a second term in office. After the inauguration festivities ended many attendees participated in one of several community service activities in honor of Reverend King.
NIGHT AT THE ZOO | GRADUATION GALA – May 23, 2013 For Democracy Prep’s first-ever gala we chose the Central Park Zoo complete with a show by the famous sea lions. Attendees were greeted by the DREAM Chorus and were then entertained by our Step team and the orchestral and vocal stylings of the band Pink Martini. The event’s honoree was Joel Klein, the former New York City School Chancellor, who was instrumental in getting Democracy Prep off the ground. The event raised $400,000 for a variety of programs.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION – June 25, 2013 In 2006 a group of scholars took a chance on Democracy Prep, when it was just a pamphlet and a promise. Six years later those same scholars walked across the stage of the historic Apollo Theater to accept their high school diplomas. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, was the keynote speaker. “You struggled hard for this,” Mr. Ban told the graduates. “But remember: your struggle made you strong. Take that strength and do even more. Challenge every problem. Then look for a harder problem – one that affects more people. Reach inside yourself and fulfill the promise of your school to change the world.”
The mission of DEMOCRACY PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS is to educate responsible citizen-scholars
FOR SUCCESS IN THE COLLEGE OF THEIR CHOICE
and a life of active citizenship. www.DEMOCRACYPREP.org