Mission: Public Prep has defined its North Star of College Completion as its organizational framework to regularly measure progress in terms of student learning and achievement, staff satisfaction and organizational stability, and family and student engagement. Below are the five points ...
Public Preparatory Network
Public Prep is a nonprofit organization that develops high-quality Universal Pre-Kindergarten and single-sex elementary and middle public schools that pursue excellence through continuous learning and evidence-based 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.
As of August 2014, we are comprised of three tuition-free single-sex public charter schools across five campuses and one tuition-free coed Pre-K that are open enrollment and can only be entered via a random lottery. Our schools and their campuses include:
Our model recognizes the significance of starting early in building the self-expectation in students that they will attend and complete college and of providing a strong foundation to help get them there. Our content-rich interdisciplinary curriculum ensures students obtain knowledge, skills, and vocabulary related to English Language Arts, mathematics, history, geography, science, foreign language, and the arts. Furthermore, our schools aim to develop our students’ work habits and individual talents by integrating the visual arts, music, and athletics into our curriculum.
Public Prep students and staff use the core values of community (sisterhood and brotherhood), merit, responsibility, and scholarship to guide their choices, education, and work at Public Prep.
Students who exemplify the core values are selected by their classroom teachers and become "Stars of the Week." Stars of the Week show their achievement by wearing a ribbon or core value polo, and they are acknowledged at bi-monthly Unity Meetings, where their exemplary demonstration of a particular core value is shared with the entire school.
Read our network-wide core value statements below.
Public Prep’s flagship school, Girls Prep Lower East Side launched as NYC's first and only public all-girls charter school serving kindergarten and first grades in 2005. Girls Prep LES was founded on the belief that parents, regardless of their race or income level, should have the power to choose a great public school for their children. Likewise, if parents wanted their daughters to experience a rigorous, single-gender environment, they should also have that option. The absence of single-sex public schools for underserved and under-resourced communities was unacceptable.
Over the years, Girls Prep LES expanded as the first cohort of students advanced to the next grade. Public Prep’s founders considered Girls Prep LES to be a success based on the high performance of Girls Prep LES students on the New York State Assessments as compared to their peers. Likewise, the increasing demand demonstrated by the lottery wait list signaled to the founders a need for more high-quality single-sex public schools in New York City. As such, Public Prep’s founders decided to replicate the Girls Prep LES model in the Bronx and committed to serving existing Girls Prep LES students and families through middle school. Thus, in 2009, Public Prep launched a middle school campus: Girls Prep LES Middle School, and a new school: Girls Prep Bronx.
Public Prep also launched in 2009 to support the administrative demand of the schools, to assist in the replication and start-up process, and to open future single-sex public elementary and middle schools in New York City.
Public Prep now has three charters under its umbrella, five single-sex elementary and middle school campuses open in New York City, and a coed Pre-K in the South Bronx.
"A Decade of Excellence"
As Girls Prep celebrates its 10th anniversary as the first all-girls public charter school in NYC, due to overwhelming demand, Public Prep Network now consists of six campuses, serving nearly 1,500 scholars PreK-8th grade including PrePrep and Boys Prep, the only all-boys elementary school in the Bronx.
Across the network, the Public Prep student population is 95% African-American and Latino, and nearly 90% qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Our schools build a joyful culture around a growth mindset - the sense of possibility that through dedication and hard work you can get better. Our unique approach places equal emphasis on character development, college knowledge, and academic excellence.
Girls Prep and Boys Prep are also unique in that our elementary schools provide science instruction five days a week from faculty members exclusively focused on teaching the wonders of science. By providing a strong foundation in science beginning in elementary school, we help instill in our girls and boys an early love of science which will ultimately help bridge the gender and race gap in STEM fields.
Indeed, for the fourth consecutive year, fourth grade scholars at Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School placed near the top of the New York State Science Exam, and 75% of Girls Prep alumnae passed a Math Regents exam, compared to only 61% of all 9th graders city-wide.
Moreover, Girls Prep provides STEM opportunities for middle schools students beyond the classroom, such as a now four year partnership with Cornell University offering summer classes in physics and science fiction writing, and this year in Veterinary Science; a West Point Society of Women Engineers workshop focused on cantilever structures and bridge building; a "Hackathon” organized by Barclays Capital Women in Technology, where scholars developed working apps; a Summer STEM Program at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis; an afterschool partnership with Girls Who Code; and a partnership with the High School of Math, Science and Engineering at City College in which more than 10 Girls Prep Bronx Middle School scholars take classes every Thursday afternoon and Saturday throughout the year to prepare for the Specialized High School exam and participate in advanced STEM projects.
This commitment to developing the next generation of minority mathematicians and scientists is just one of the reasons parents continue to show strong demand for Public Prep schools. Indeed, for the 2015-16 school year, Girls Prep Bronx received 1,450 applications from families for fewer than 100 open seats across grades K-7. A decade after the founding of Girls Prep in 2005, our mandate is just as irrefutable – every parent, regardless of race, income level or zip code, deserves the power to choose a great public school of their child.
Thank you for joining us on this journey, and for taking the time to learn more about Public Prep.
CEO, Public Prep
I have been working at Public Preparatory Network full-time
Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School is an amazing place to work. The staff, families, and girls are incredible, and I feel lucky to work here.
I really value my time here.
I applied online. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at Public Preparatory Network (New York, NY) in May 2013.
Phone screening with network level recruiter - questions were typical questions about experience and curriculum understanding. The demo lesson was done the same day as in person interview. I was given an objective prior. Demo lesson was 35 minutes. This was followed by interview with principal and then teacher.
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