Our School Mission and Model
Public Prep Network is a nonprofit organization that develops single-sex elementary and middle public schools that pursue excellence through continuous learning and data-driven instruction. Our model is designed to empower each student to build strong character, demonstrate critical thinking, possess a core body of knowledge, and be on a predictive path to earn a degree from a four-year university.
The Girls Prep community lives by four core values: scholarship, merit, sisterhood, and responsibility.
Girls Prep Bronx students learn to be active citizens as well as scholars. Teachers treat students with compassion and fairness and teach students to use the same behavior with their peers. We have found that our supportive and well-rounded learning environment produces incredible results.
High Expectations for Behavior
- Our girls treat each other as sisters. We teach them to support and help each other, solve their problems together and take responsibility for their mistakes. Our social curriculum, "Second Step," actively teaches girls skills such as empathy and conflict resolution.
- We have a school-wide discipline system. Students are recognized for exceptional behavior and held accountable for poor choices.
- Every week, one student from each class is chosen as the Star of the Week in her home classroom, and one student from each grade is chosen as the Star of the Week in each of the fitness and arts classes. These students are recognized for exhibiting the Girls Prep values.
Bi-weekly Unity Meetings bring together the entire Girls Prep Bronx community. Meetings are framed by a guiding question and led by classes who share their classroom learning through a performance. We also use this time to honor student achievements and emphasize our core values.
A Culture of Success
Students value merit and scholarship. Teachers encourage exploration and joy in learning as well as the importance of persistence and effort.
As a charter school, Girls Prep has the freedom to structure our school in innovative ways that benefit students. Some unique and effective aspects of our school model are:
- A well-balanced education that emphasizes creativity and health alongside academic excellence. In addition to strong core academics, our girls excel in music, art, yoga, physical education and embody school values such as sisterhood and responsibility.
- Our Principal is an instructional leader. She dedicates her time to supporting teachers and ensuring academic excellence. In addition, Instructional Specialists aid classroom teachers in providing the best instruction possible and in identifying and serving students with special needs.
- We use assessment data to meet the diverse learning needs of every child and to create guided small groups, centers, and lessons. Our use of data ensures that every student is challenged and that no student falls through the cracks.
- Our model provides each student individual attention and a tailored program to meet her needs. We welcome and support students with special needs, Individual Education Plans, and English Language Learners. Our school offers SETSS services, push-in and pull-out interventions, speech therapy, and tutoring for all students who require it.
English Language Arts
Girls Prep Bronx teachers combine literacy programs to help students become great readers and writers. Through a balanced literacy framework, we blend interactive read-alouds, shared reading, independent reading, literacy center activities, word study, language concept study, and guided reading. Literacy instruction takes place throughout the day in all subject areas.
Every day, each student receives 45 minutes of small group instruction during Reading Group which includes word study, language concept study, and guided reading. We also have daily Reading and Writing periods. The student-teacher ratio during reading group is approximately 6:1. In grades K-1 this time is spent teaching phonics, developing phonemic awareness, developing reading strategies, decoding, and developing comprehension. In the later grades, the focus shifts to reading for meaning, developing comprehension skills, and discussing and evaluating literature.
The core of our math curriculum is enVision Math which we supplement with Investigations, a hands-on number sense program; Exemplars, standards-based performance tasks; and Everyday Counts, a daily calendar math program. Grade level teams enrich enVision through interactive games, centers, and activities. Girls Prep Bronx math instruction includes the daily calendar math meeting, as well as a math lesson each day.
Girls Prep Bronx students have a 45 minute daily writing block taught in a workshop model. Each workshop begins with a mini-lesson on a specific skill or strategy. The class then works on individual writing assignments while teachers hold conferences with students. Teachers use these conferences to note general trends in their class’ writing in addition to tracking the progress of individual students. At the end of the lesson, the class comes together to share their work.
Science and Social Studies
In the early grades, Social Studies instruction is tailored to the study of self, family and community history. Fiction and non-fiction read-alouds, field trips, and research skills (like interviewing community members) enrich each standards-based unit. Girls Prep Bronx follows the Delta FOSS science curriculum which emphasizes discovery, experiential learning and scientific experimentation.
Arts and Fitness
At Girls Prep Bronx, we believe in educating the whole child. The girls receive daily fitness and arts instruction through physical education, yoga, dance, music, or visual arts.
Girls Prep Bronx believes in standards-focused, data-driven instruction. We will use the following assessments to ensure that each of our students excels in all subject areas.
- Fountas and Pinnell Reading Benchmarks
- Internally Designed Interim Assessments
- Achievement Network Interim Assessments
- Classroom Observation
The relationship between home and school is central to each child's success. At Girls Prep, we partner with families to provide maximum support to our students.
Every year begins with a home visit by the student's teachers. This initial visit allows families and teachers to establish a relationship before the school year begins. Additional ways we develop a relationship of trust and mutual respect with families are:
- Our full-time Director of Student and Family Affairs dedicates her time to answering family questions or concerns.
- Girls Prep encourages family involvement. Families are welcome to visit or volunteer any time. The Girls Prep PTA sends home weekly news updates and hosts many events and meetings.
- Girls Prep hosts a variety of school-wide family events such as picnics, movie nights and breakfasts. We also host instructional workshops for families.
- Each girl has a homework binder that she carries to and from school every day. These binders allow families and teachers to communicate easily and often about their daughter's progress.
- All families have phone numbers for their daughter's teacher. Teachers return phone calls within 36 hours and usually much faster.