• Category 2

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: k - 8
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 822
    Student Enrollment: 656
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 12.2%
    White/Caucasian: 57%
    Hispanic: 5.5%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 11%
    Native American: 0.3%
    Other: 12%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:25
    % Reduced Lunch: 53%
    % ELL Learners: 10%
    Founded: 2004
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Chad Carr
  • CONTACT:
    3330 Chippewa Street
    Columbus, OH 43204
    614-275-3600
    jmoore@columbuspreparatory.org
Columbus Preparatory Academy
Columbus, OH
“Our academic success is a direct result of collaboration among dedicated students, parents, teachers, and staff.The Blitz© has become the driving force for our academic success and closing the achievement gap.The Blitz© is a school-wide initiative that incorporates teamwork, school pride, classroom competitions, academic pep rallies, music, chants, performances and a love of learning toward a common goal."
Describe the most successful activity your school has initiated to strengthen ties to your community.
The implementation of the Blitz© is the school’s most successful connection to the community. Each classroom becomes a team based on a school-wide theme. The teams compete against one another during the final three months of school. Four academic pep rallies occur during this three-month period allowing classrooms to highlight their achievements through games, contests, and theme based performances. This program instills pride and teamwork in the classroom while integrating community support and involvement towards a common goal. During Blitz© performances members of the community visit the school to participate in and witness the excitement centered on academics. Classrooms invite political leaders, educators, local celebrities, radio personalities, news media, musicians, special performers, and guest judges to take part in these activities and academic pep rallies. Many community members return each year to be a part of such a positive, engaging, and inspiring school climate.
Describe your school culture and explain changes you’ve taken to improve it.
CPA opened its doors in August of 2004. Initially the school faced several challenges. During the first three years of operation the school had inconsistent leadership, high teacher turnover, and the school struggled to maintain consistent student enrollment, student expectations, and parent involvement. During these years, CPA was ranked as a school in academic emergency by the ODE. In 2007 the school's story began to change. To provide students a sense of pride in their school a mascot, school colors, and a school fight song were designated. CPA began to offer awards and incentives for students to achieve and feel a strong sense of pride in their work and school. Sports programs, a choir, and a band were formed. Staff members lead social and academic clubs, including Student Council, Writer’s Club, Chess Club, and Art Club. The diverse opportunities inside and outside of the classroom gives CPA students a sense of pride in their school and has changed the culture for the better.
Describe how data is used to improve student achievement and inform decision making.
Student data is the driving force for all decision making at CPA. Teachers and students alike become experts at analyzing data. CPA teachers give bi-weekly quizzes, called scrimmages, in order to assess the standards that have been taught. Teachers track scrimmage results allowing them to make data driven decisions on their teaching. Based on the data, teachers move on to another standard, reteach the standard to the entire class, or provide remediation to the students who need additional support. CPA also uses the Developmental Reading Assessment in order to monitor the reading progress of our students. The data gained helps identify students that could benefit from our school's Title I programs. This method of assessing and tracking data begins in kindergarten and continues throughout the entire school. The data tracking system is simplified into color charts that allow students to visually see their progress, monitor their own work, and set personal goals for academic achievement.
Describe the program or initiative that has had the greatest positive effect on student achievement, including closing achievement or opportunity gaps, if applicable.
Our academic success is a direct result of collaboration among dedicated students, parents, teachers, and staff.The Blitz© has become the driving force for our academic success and closing the achievement gap.The Blitz© is a school-wide initiative that incorporates teamwork, school pride, classroom competitions, academic pep rallies, music, chants, performances and a love of learning toward a common goal.Its monumental effect on our success is shown in our state assessment scores. In the 2007-2008 school year, CPA was identified as being in “Academic Emergency” by the ODE. After the implementation of the Blitz© in 2009, CPA moved to “Continuous Improvement' then to “Excellent” in 2010. Since 2011, we have been rated “Excellent with Distinction” with scores of 102, 111, 113, and 115. Our school culture embodies a collaborative momentum toward closing the achievement gap, and the Blitz© clearly supports our school-wide drive toward excellence. Every student at CPA feels like a champion.
Explain how Title I funds are used to support your improvement efforts.
CPA uses Title I funds to provide services to students through four programs, during school tutoring, after school tutoring, Saturday school, and summer school. Data gathered through school wide and standardized testing determines the students who would benefit most from during school tutoring in math and reading. Services are provided to those who qualify every day for 30 minutes. After school tutoring in reading and math is also available for students grades K-8. These services are offered Monday - Thursday for an hour each day from September through May. In order to help students prepare for state- wide standardized testing, Saturday school is offered to students in grades 3-8. CPA also provides summer school for students that are struggling to meet grade level standards. Summer school is a four-week long, half-day program for students in grades K-8. Class sizes are reduced for all Title I programs to allow students the opportunity to have more personal interaction with the teacher.
Describe your philosophy of school change or improvement.
It is the mission of CPA to provide students with a content-rich, academically challenging education in a safe, engaging, disciplined environment. By equipping our students with essential knowledge and skills, CPA motivates students to achieve their future aspirations. CPA sets the stage for a respectful learning environment using consistent reinforcement of school rules. A strict dress code, attendance policy, homework policy, and behavior guidelines are consistently enforced. Each year, we set common goals related to our academic achievement plan which is tied to the state standardized test scores. Every classroom uses these school-wide goals to create a motivational system in the classroom. CPA is a model for school success and closing the achievement gap. Students at CPA are living proof that through rigorous coursework, high expectations, and immersion in a positive learning environment with caring, committed professionals, all students can achieve at high levels.
Identify the critical professional development activities you use to improve teaching and student learning.
CPA reviews student testing data as a staff each month at our professional development sessions. This allows the entire staff to look at the trends in student scores and to intervene with support staff or Title I services as soon as a problem is identified. CPA is a teacher-driven school, where teachers are considered experts and leaders in their fields. Teachers have the freedom to maximize student outcomes through implementation of curriculum and teaching methods that best suits their student population and teaching style.The CPA school staff presents best practices to one another based on the developmental needs of the school. For example, a teacher with a particularly effective classroom management style will highlight the methods behind their success; a teacher that aptly uses technology to supplement curriculum will highlight the programs they use; and our Title I Coordinator will discuss current DRA scores and offer specific literacy initiatives to help students succeed.
Describe specific programs in place to ensure that families are involved in the success of your school and students.
CPA offers a myriad of opportunities geared toward student success with a focus on the whole child. We offer a specialized Paragon© curriculum, free after school, Saturday school, and summer school tutoring, Title I Reading and Math services, a Special Education program, and a comprehensive school counseling program. These initiatives have proven successful in supporting the diverse learning needs of our school community. In addition, we offer extracurricular activities such as a Math Counts team, LEGO club, Student Council, chess club, art club, band, cross country, basketball, soccer, ROX© groups, and an Optimal Health Program. CPA offers family and community-oriented events such as a Fall Festival, Holiday Night, Paragon Blitz© Night, and family literacy nights. The extracurricular activities provide opportunities the families at CPA may not otherwise be able to participate in and provide a safe place for our students to be after school.
What is the single most important factor in the success of your school that others could replicate?
The single most important factor in the success of students at Columbus Preparatory Academy is the ability to gather and analyze student data in order to identify individual students’ strengths and weaknesses. To close the achievement gap, CPA has worked on teaching the standards, regularly assessing the standards, and tracking the data of those assessments. Teachers then concentrate on the academic weaknesses of the students shown in this data to help get them to an advanced status. By pinpointing the standards which need more attention, teachers are able to help the students achieve at high levels. Since 2008, our school staff has streamlined this process and focused on accountability, which has yielded great results.
What are your school’s top two goals for the next year?
Our main goal for next school year involves building a CPA high school. Students at CPA work extremely hard to develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for college and career success, however our school is Kindergarten through 8th grade only. When CPA students graduate from our 8th grade and return to their home districts or magnet schools, they consistently perform above their peers. For several years, parents have asked us to offer a high school option for their students, and we are currently working to raise funds to be able to continue the CPA experience for all students. Once opened, our students will enjoy science labs, libraries, and computer labs that will harness the power of 21st century learning and allow our students to meet the educational demands of a globally connected society. By attending our new high school, students will be provided college classes, at no expense to the families, through strategic partnerships with leading Ohio universities.
Stats
  • Category 2

    Selected in 2014

  • Grades: k - 8
    School Setting: urban
    Town Population: 822
    Student Enrollment: 656
    Student Demographics:

    Black/African American: 12.2%
    White/Caucasian: 57%
    Hispanic: 5.5%
    Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%
    Asian: 11%
    Native American: 0.3%
    Other: 12%

    Teacher/Student Ratio: 1:25
    % Reduced Lunch: 53%
    % ELL Learners: 10%
    Founded: 2004
  • PRINCIPAL:
    Chad Carr
  • CONTACT:
    3330 Chippewa Street
    Columbus, OH 43204
    614-275-3600
    jmoore@columbuspreparatory.org