Annual Report Excel Academy Public Charter School 2105 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20020 Contact Person: Kaye Savage, CEO
(202) 373-0097 Board Chair: Vito Germinario
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Cover Page 2. Table of Contents 3. Board List 4. Staff List 5. Annual Report Narrative 6. Annual Report Data Collection Template 7. Appendix A 2011-12 Unaudited Financials Approved 8. Appendix B 2012-12 Approved Budget 9. Appendix C 2011-12 Accountability Plan
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EXCEL ACADEMY BOARD MEMBERS 2011-12 Vito J. Germinario Chair Malcolm Poole Vice Chair Michael Vu Treasurer Meridel Bulle-Vu Secretary John P. Barron Liz Davenport Hughes Valerie Holt Audwin F. Levasseur Bridget Bond Deborah Lockhart Chanelle Hardy Kaye Savage
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EXCEL ACADAMY STAFF MEMBERS 2011-12 First, Last Position Grade Level/Position Allison Grace Teaching Fellow Preschool Allison Meese Special Education N/A Andrew Ferrera Co-Teacher Kindergarten Ashlyn Ramos Teaching Fellow Preschool Brent Pencak Receptionist N/A Cassie Lynott Art Teacher N/A Chris Smith Facilities Support/Safety Officer N/A Clarence Pineda Business Manager N/A Courtney Tuz Instructional Assistant N/A David Finklestein Teaching Fellow Prek4 David Jackson Co-Teacher Preschool Domeccia Derricott After-School N/A Emily Stevens Lead Teacher Third Grade Epernay Kyles Teaching Fellow Prek4 Erica Janifer Instructional Assistant Instructional Assistant Frances Eling Lead Teacher First Grade Franchesca Parker Special Ed. Cordinator N/A Giavanti Greennaugh Co-Teacher Prek4 Greta Wicklund Co-Teacher Preschool Harper Denhard Lead Teacher First Grade Jacqueline Singer Co-Teacher Kindergarten Jennifer Haywood Music Teacher N/A Jhermel Goss Co-Teacher Prek4 Julianna Tabor Instructional Coach N/A Kanita Mason Lead Teacher Second Grade Karen Cook Co-Teacher Preschool Kate Essex Chief Advancement Officer N/A Kaye Savage CEO N/A Kelly Riling Lead Teacher Second Grade Kiarna Davis Lead Teacher Preschool Kimberly Colley Learning Specialist N/A Kimberly Mahoney P.E. Teacher N/A Kristahl Beckett Lead Teacher First Grade Larry Jiggetts CIO/Facilities Manager N/A LaShanda Jones Instructional Assistant N/A Laura Good Lead Teacher Third Grade Lauren Hilliard Instructional Assistant Third Grade Lauren McGlory Co-Teacher Kindergarten Lauren Sinacore Co-Teacher Preschool Lauryn Goldberg Grants Manager N/A
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Lela Johnson Principle Principal Lisa Sambat Co-Teacher Prek4 Myia McDaniel Instructional Assistant First Grade Nicole Jondahl Co-Teacher Kindergarten Nicole Phillips Lead-Teacher Prek4 Nikki Stewart Academic Dean Academic Dean Omid Shahi Co-Teacher Kindergarten Shaquita Curtis Instructional Assistant Third Grade Sonal Sheth Lead Teacher Second Grade Stephanie Jackson Lead Teacher Prek4 Tatiana Roll Co-Teacher Kindergarten Tiara Etheridge Lead Teacher Prek4 Valencia Warnock Chief Operating Officers N/A Zaria DeCoteau Co-Teacher Prek4
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2011-12 ANNUAL REPORT NARRATIVE Excel Academy Public Charter School I. School Description A. Mission/Vision Statement Mission Excel Academy Public Charter School will provide pre-school through eighth grade girls a solid academic foundation and enrichment opportunities to prepare them to succeed in high school and college and to develop the skills and confidence they need to make healthy, positive lifestyle choices. Vision Excel Academys Board members and staff believe that with strong support and training, all students can learn and achieve at high levels. Our selection of instructional materials, methods and school-wide structures have been informed by the best practices of successful schools across the nation that serve populations similar to those of the targeted student population in Ward 8.1 We are using early and frequent assessments to gauge students progress and identify academic needs per cohort and per individual student, and respond to the data such assessments provide with immediacy. We hire highly qualified teachers and have ongoing professional development to create and maintain a community of respect and collaboration with our staff and parents.2 We embrace students parents and guardians as essential partners in their students education, and we reach out to families and the wider community to support Excel Academy scholars. B. School Program 1. Grade and Age Levels Served Grade Age PK-3 3 PK-4 4 KG 5 1 6 2 7 3 8
1 The core beliefs of Excel Academy are influenced by the best practices of North Star Academy and KIPP Team in Newark, New Jersey; Elm City Prep and Amistad Academy of New Haven, Connecticut; and Roxbury Prep and Boston Collegiate in Boston, Massachusetts. These schools serve student populations that are among the poorest in their states, yet demonstrate consistent and statistically significant academic progress, as measured over time by their state assessment. 2 We have used the term parent throughout this application, but our children may be parented by guardians by grandparents, aunts and uncles, other family members or individuals who have become their caretakers and legal guardians. We thank all guardians for their care for children and include them whenever we use the term parent.
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2. Summary of Curriculum Design and Instructional Approach Curriculum Design and Instructional Approach Excel Academy is an urban school strategically located in Ward 8 of Washington, D.C. We firmly believe that an outstanding education will prepare our scholars to effectively compete, achieve and succeed in the larger society. We are a no-excuses charter school, meaning we believe there are no excuses for accepting anything other than excellence, both from our scholars and our staff. The results we deliver encompass not only improved test scores from our scholars, but the ambition, discipline and confidence that are derived from our high expectations. Benefits of Excel Academys Early Childhood Program Scholars develop a stronger sense of self, an ability to adjust to new circumstances, and recognize their own feelings and how to manage them.
Scholars begin to take responsibility for their own well-being, and learn to respect and care for themselves, teachers, classmates, and the classroom.
Curiosity, perception, and persistence grow as scholars begin to explore, apply new concepts, and develop the confidence to take academic and personal risks.
Early Scholastic Foundation Early Intervention Excel Academy is one of the few District public schools to offer an intensive academic program for three year-olds. In our early childhood program, we use a specialized instruction model, which designates two teachers per classroom. Excels model focuses on objectives-driven small group instruction and center-based experiential learning. In order to measure our success, teachers set goals for each lesson and use both teacher-created benchmarks and standardized assessments to measure student progress. Excels unique early intervention program is rooted in the development of early literacy and numeracy skills in Preschool and Prekindergarten scholars. Students as young as three years of age are exposed to a comprehensive and interactive curriculum to build foundational skills in reading, language, writing, mathematics, science and social studies. Excel has developed a comprehensive approach to embedding language and literacy into every part of the school day to extend and deepen a students learning over the course of a unit, and across units. Excels early intervention program aims to close the word gap so that our students are ready to succeed in Kindergarten. Rigorous Learning Environment Excel scholars engage in literacy activities for most of their school day. Scholars in Preschool and Prekindergarten use Core Knowledge, a curriculum based on the latest research in early childhood education that presents explicitly sequenced content and skill guidelines. Early childhood students work in small groups of 5-7 students to ensure a depth of understanding and thorough learning of each objective. Excel scholars study thematic high-quality childrens books with intentional read alouds to emphasize vocabulary and comprehension skills and build contextual knowledge. Language skills are taught sequentially and rhyming games are used to help scholars with phonics and vocabulary. We also use a sequenced approach to teach basic math facts, computational skills, and higher-level problem solving proficiency.
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Starting in Kindergarten and continuing through Second Grade, Excel scholars participate in specialized courses in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. Excel build its own standards-based curriculum, drawing on the following curricular sources: The curricula used include: SRA Reading Mastery Signature Edition, Writers Workshop, Saxon Math, Singapore Math, Core Knowledge History and Geography, Core Knowledge Listening and Learning, Scott Foresman Science, and Words Their Way. Literacy is taught through listening and speaking, word recognition, fluency, comprehension, and analysis. Reading centers, where scholars break into small groups to practice their critical thinking and literacy skills, are an important aspect of the school day. Writing is practiced through guided assignments and storytelling. Explicit instruction is the core of the math curriculum. Teachers provide students with regular instruction, practice, and hands-on experience to facilitate the mastery of math skills. Excels curriculum integrates prior knowledge, teacher modeling, independent application, and assessment to ensure optimum student-teacher interaction and the development of critical thinking skills. To fully engage scholars in learning new concepts, teachers incorporate real life examples to teach math, science, and social studies. Scholars study life cycles, magnetism, the Earth, and aquatic life through exploration and explanation. Scholars learn about countries and significant historical figures through readings, special projects, and supplemental coursework. Scholars learn about prominent women in history and civic life through in-depth studies of strong female leaders. Structured English Immersion Excel Academy did not have limited English proficiency students during the 2011-2012 school year. Our school will utilize a fully inclusive language immersion program when/if necessary. Scholars will learn in regular classrooms to the greatest extent possible. Students with Learning Disabilities Excel Academy is committed to supporting the individual needs of all scholars. Excel scholars with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) learn with their peers in an inclusive environment. While receiving individual support from our Special Education team, these scholars spend a significant amount of time in the classroom to ensure that they are being exposed to grade-level curricula, benefiting from classroom instruction and developing socially. Scholars with IEPs are regularly assessed, both informally and formally, to monitor progress and make adjustments to their academic program as needed. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Special Education team met regularly to develop and update IEPs for the thirteen scholars receiving special education support. The special education team collaborated to provide these scholars with a combination of inclusive push-in and small group pull-out support, in addition to individualized lesson plans for lessons and activities. To further support scholars in need of related services, Excel Academy contracted with a Clinical Psychologist, School Social Worker, Speech/Language Pathologist, Physical Therapist, and an Occupational Therapist.
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3. Description of Key Mission-related Programs Mission Related Programs: The Benefits of an All-Girls School Expanded educational opportunity
Custom-tailored learning and instruction
Greater autonomy Single Sex Model Through a deliberately female-focused curriculum, Excel emphasizes the learning skills of young women. Teachers create lessons that build knowledge, academic skills and self-awareness in girls. Scholars at Excel see themselves reflected in the schools learning materials that incorporate the contributions of women throughout history. Excel Academy teaches girls beginning at age three to be proud to be a girl, and delivers instruction best suited to how girls learn. Excel reaches scholars more comprehensively and intensively with research-based programs specifically tailored to meet girls needs. Through a single-sex model, Excel provides girls with an environment where girls lead in every role, are free from pressure to please boys, and are valued for their intellect and compassion. Development of Character To complement the academic program, Excel Academy faculty created a character education program based on the IDEALS values, culturally responsive pedagogy, character role models from literature, and best practices for girls. This program is built around six core IDEALS: integrity, discipline, enjoyment, achievement, leadership and sisterhood. The IDEALS are reinforced throughout the day, beginning with our Breakfast for the Brain program in morning meeting. Teachers use IDEALS values to set classroom and school-wide behavior. Time each day is devoted to explicit teaching and modeling of our IDEALS values. Every week exemplary demonstration of the IDEALS is highlighted at our school-wide Community Circle. Teachers select a handful of student to recognize weekly at Community Circle. Teachers recognize members of their class by stating a specific student action and which IDEALS value it demonstrated. In addition to the IDEALS, Excels character education program utilizes culturally responsive pedagogy and focus on empowering young girls. Monthly character themes feature a variety of strong female role models, literature with women and girls in non-traditional roles, and showcase girls and women making empowered decisions, African proverbs, folktales, music, and poetry. Our character education program fosters an appreciated of self, inner strength, and ones own unique identity, and help our students become socially conscious, engaged local and global citizens. A faculty created character education program rooted in several strong values systems, literature, and character education instructional strategies have allowed for staff to tailor our program to the specific needs of our student population. In SY 2011-12, we...