(HISD News Release)
HISD Board Approves Creation of All–Boys College Preparatory Academy
School will open in 2011 at current E.O. Smith site
December 9, 2010 – Tonight, at the regular monthly meeting of the HISD Board of Education, board trustees voted to approve the creation of an all-male college preparatory school that will be located at the current E.O. Smith Education Center site.
The gender-based school will open next year with sixth and ninth grade students only. Seventh and tenth grade students will be added the next year. Additional grade levels will be added in subsequent years. The school’s curriculum will be instructionally rigorous and will include pre-advanced and advanced placement courses in addition to a foreign language requirement. Course work will also emphasize high expectations, responsible decision making, leadership and wellness skills, and will prepare students for college and university acceptance upon graduation.
“Closing the male minority achievement gap is a top priority for everyone at Team HISD, and I am confident that the opening of this all-male college preparatory academy will be one of many proactive steps the district takes to address this growing national concern,” said Chief Middle Schools Officer Dallas Dance. “It, like the all-girls school, will join the many other quality school choice options that are available at HISD.”
HISD’s all-male college prep academy will be an in-district charter school and will consist of 100–125 students per grade. The academy will be open to all students across HISD, but admission will require an application process, an entrance exam, letters of recommendation, and student and parent interviews.
The new school will be modeled after all-male college preparatory academies in Chicago, Ill. and in Harlem, New York. Recently, Dallas Dance and Trustee Carol Mims Galloway visited the Chicago Urban Prep Academy to observe how the HISD all-male college preparatory school might operate.
“I was extremely impressed by what I saw in Chicago,” said Galloway. “After talking with the young men I realized how their whole outlook on life and college changed after attending this all-male school. We have to do something to save our young men of today and I think that starting this all-male college preparatory academy at HISD is a step in the right direction.”
HISD’s all-male college preparatory academy will be located at the current E.O. Smith Education Center site, which has seen a steady decrease in enrollment over the last five years. Students enrolled in grades K–5 will remain at E.O. Smith for the 2011–2012 school year and then will be re-zoned to the new Atherton Elementary School for the 2012-2013 school year. Students in grades 6–8 will be re-zoned to another school by the board at a later date.
The new all-male academy is expected to apply for start-up funds based on its application to the Texas Education Agency as an in-district charter. Trustee Galloway has agreed to provide $2.5 million from her trustee allocation to cover renovations and upgrades at the campus.