ELK GROVE – With the start of school just days away, teachers and staff of a local charter school system took the opportunity to do some last-minute homework.

Key educators and support staffers from throughout the Fortune Charter School System all gathered at its Sacramento headquarters last week for a summer symposium focused on professional development.

“We definitely had a healthy helping of Fortune School culture,” shared the school system’s CEO Margaret Fortune.

Participants included staffers from San Bernardino’s Hardy Brown College Prep, Sacramento’s Fortune School, William Lee College Prep (WLCP), and the newest addition, Alan Rowe College Prep (ARCP).

“This is our time to gather (everyone) from all of the campuses together in one location,” Ms. Fortune shared.
In addition to her own words of motivation, a representative from the County Office of Education also spoke to participants about common core standards.

The Fortune Schools were started to address the African American achievement gap. Sacramento and San Bernardino were identified as cities with high African American populations that were not faring well academically. Its first school in Sacramento opened its doors to students in 2011.

“I feel really good about where we are,” Ms. Fortune said.

“We have an index of 878. We closed a gap and we’re exceeding the expectations. We’re excited about that,” she added.

The first day of school for three of the Fortune Schools is this week (Wednesday, August 7).

The Alan Rowe College Prep has its first official day on August 21.

The system purposefully starts its newest school after its existing schools so that new staffers can “see what a first day of school looks like.”
ARCP staffers will shadow their counterparts at WLCP on its first day.

Alan Rowe College Prep, named after well-known local educator, Dr. Alan Rowe, is a K-3 school and, like the other campuses, will grow a grade each year. The Elk Grove-located school will also offer a transitional kindergarten for those who just missed enrolling due to the birth date cutoff.

Ms. Fortune describes the overall teaching staff as a mix of new and veteran educators.

“What they all have is a passion for closing the African American achievement gap. (They’ve said) ‘our work is to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal,’” she added.

All of the Fortune School principals, Ms. Fortune shared, are products of the Fortune School of Education’s leadership program.

“We’re developing our own leaders and we pay attention to talent,” she said.

The Fortune Schools are still enrolling students, particularly for its new Elk Grove campus.

(The Elk Grove campus is located at 9424 Big Horn Blvd.)

Enrollment meetings have been set for Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14.

The August 13 meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. in Room 126 of the Cosumnes River College Child Development Center, located at 8401 Center Parkway.

The August 14 meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Elk Grove Public Library’s Elk Grove Meeting Room, located at 8900 Elk Grove Boulevard.

For more information, call (916) 924-8633.