St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay today announced that three new charter schools will open August 2013. The three new schools bring to 18 the number of new charter schools in St. Louis since the mayor began a vigorous screening process five years ago. Charter schools are public schools free from tuition, open to all, and free from the bureaucracy of the St. Louis Public Schools.
"St. Louis is a great place to live, a great place to work and a great place to play. But for decades families have not been convinced that we are a great place for public schools. We are changing that," said Mayor Francis Slay. "When quality schools open, test scores go up and for sale signs come down."
Mayor Slay joined charter school administrators and parents today at the Gateway Science Academy Middle & High School campus to discuss the importance of charter schools - and their role in providing the City's children with good, free, public educations.
"I believe that when something works, we should replicate it. I believe when there are waiting lists, we should listen to the parents and open up another school," continued Slay.
When the 2013 school year begins, three new charter schools will open to St. Louis City residents. Other charter schools will add grades and capacity. The charter schools opening in 2013 include:
Lafayette Preparatory Academy (LPA) (K-5) offers a comprehensive high-quality public education for students in the Downtown/ Near Southside neighborhoods. LPA's mission is to provide students with academic core knowledge and the ability to reason, solve problems, and execute solutions in service and concern for their community. LPA utilizes an extended day to implement research-proven curriculum that focuses heavily on math, literacy, critical thinking, and science. Lafayette Preparatory Academy's Elementary School will open initially as a K-1 with 94 students. For information or to enroll for the 2013-2014 school year, please contact Susan Marino, Head of School, email@example.com or visit: http://www.lafayetteprep.org/#/
The mission of EAGLE College Prep Endeavor (K-8) is to develop serving leaders by providing a rigorous college prep learning community where students work together toward the pursuit of academic excellence and character development in a safe, supportive, and loving learning environment. EAGLE College Prep Endeavor provides an education with a loving emphasis that is genuinely transformational for our student, and is commitment to establishing a distinctive identity as one of America's finest public college-preparatory institutions, developing students who are academic standouts and active community servants. EAGLE will open as a K-3 serving 130 students. It is located at 4293 Chippewa Street. Parents interested in additional information can call principal Dr. Suzanne Johnson at 314-541-0072, firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the website at: educationalenterprises.org/eagle/stlouis
Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis-South (K-12) is a college preparatory school that will provides students with an innovative world-class education rich in math, science and technology, focused on preparing students to become bold inquirers, problem solvers and ethical leaders, and skill-ready for post-secondary education. GSA-South will open as a K-6 serving 350 students, and will add one grade of 50 students each year thereafter. GSA-South will be located at 6651 Gravois Avenue. The school will serve the surrounding community, which includes a large immigrant population. For more information or to enroll, contact Mr. Matt Sagnak, principal, at (314) 932-7513, or visit http://www.gsastl.org/.
Charter schools have different themes, serve different neighborhoods, and target a variety of grades. Schools that have gone through the process created by Mayor Slay are held to high standards. Charter schools must demonstrate that the school and board leadership will operate a fiscally sound school that will meet specific academic and organizational performance goals. If those high standards are not met, the schools will close.
"I will only support quality charters," Slay said. "If they are not quality, they should be closed."
By this fall, more than 9,000 children attend public charter schools in the City of St. Louis. By offering free public schools and ensuring that those schools are meeting expectations, thousands more families are staying in the City. Thousands more children are getting a good, free public education.
"I vow to continue to work to provide parents with more charter school options," said Mayor Slay. "Quality public charter schools are good for our children - and our City."