St. HOPE To Open Middle School In Fall; Registration Currently Open For Families

SACRAMENTO – St. HOPE Public Schools announced this week that the new Oak Park Prep Middle School will be open for the 2012-13 school year. The Oak Park community hasn’t had its own middle school since 1963, and demand for a nearby school with high-performance measures has made this new location necessary. The school will accept new applications until March 15th.

“We are excited to be able to offer the students of Oak Park access to a high-quality middle school in their neighborhood that will ensure all students are on track to succeed in high school, college and beyond,” said St. HOPE Public Schools Superintendent Jim Scheible.

Since the closure of Stanford Junior High fifty years ago following a fire, seventh and eighth grade students living in Oak Park and nearby neighborhoods have had to travel outside the area to attend middle school. The new school, Oak Park Prep, will be located in a separate building on the campus of Sacramento Charter High School.

“Oak Park Prep’s program is founded upon the belief that all students deserve a top quality education and that all students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, can achieve academic excellence,” said founding Principal Paul Schwinn. “We don’t make excuses for why kids aren’t performing. We continue to work with students until they get it right.”

Oak Park Prep’s academic program will closely mirror the program and success of PS7, a K through eight charter school also run by founding nonprofit organization, St. HOPE Public Schools. PS7’s Academic Performance Index (API) is the fourth highest score in the Sacramento City Unified School District and one of the highest in the state at 911 out of 1,000. PS7 attributes much of its success to longer school days, a structured learning environment, and a focus on high achievement for all students.

Part of the academic plan for Oak Park Prep includes over three hours of reading and writing a day and two periods of math. Each student will have access to daily small group instruction to meet individual needs. Science, social studies, and physical education are also worked into the daily schedule, and the school is working on a plan for extracurricular activities to include a Spanish class, a choir, and sports, as well as an after-school homework club.

Principal Schwinn has been with St. HOPE Public Schools for three years, teaching World History and AP World History at Sacramento Charter High School, where 90% of his students performed at proficient or advanced levels on the CST.

A majority of students who have applied to be members of Oak Park Prep’s founding class attend nearby Bret Harte, Oak Ridge, Tahoe, Ethel Philips, Father Keith B. Kenny, and Fruitridge Elementary Schools.

Families wishing to apply for the 2012-13 school year can contact Admissions Coordinator, Roxana Wells, at (916) 649-7910 or rwells@sthopepublicschools.org. Visit www.oakparkprep.org for more information.