Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by IDEA Public Schools.
IDEA Public Schools Is Joining the Baton Rouge Community
Attention families searching for a quality education for your child: IDEA Public Schools, an award-winning, tuition-free, public charter school network is coming to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In May 2016, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board approved IDEA’s application to open, up to, four charter schools in the city. In 2018, IDEA will open its first 2 schools, serving K-2 and 6th grade students in Louisiana’s capital.
Who They Are
Since 2001, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students in Texas to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free, K-12 public charter schools in the United States. IDEA currently serves nearly 30,000 college-bound students in 51 schools across three Texas regions—the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin—and is on-track to maintain its legacy of sending 100% of its graduates to college. The organization was recently named America’s Best Charter School network by the Prestigious Broad Foundation, an award given for demonstrating the best overall performance in America, especially serving primarily low-income students of color.
This is encouraging for the Baton Rouge community, where despite the efforts of hundreds of caring and committed teachers and administrators, educational quality continues to be inconsistent. Schools, like those that will be operated by IDEA, will help Baton Rouge children and families realize their college aspirations.
IDEA Public Schools takes pride in fostering holistic learners who master academic content and become culturally-aware citizens. Nicole Lemelle, the parent of a 5th grader at IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio, Texas, speaks to the impact IDEA has had on her son, Kinoah:
“The focus at IDEA is different—the whatever-it-takes attitude, the importance placed on college for all students—I didn’t know a school could feel the same hopefulness as I did for my son. The culture and knowledge IDEA Public Schools instills in my child has helped him become a passionate, curious and self-motivated learner. As a budding fifth-grader, Kinoah is being challenged and is more determined than ever to go to college and become an engineer. I know my son will become part of the 100 percent of IDEA graduates who are accepted to college every year. Every kid deserves this. All students should be afforded an education where their potential is seen as limitless.”
IDEA Public Schools believes every child, regardless of race or income, should have access to a high-quality education. IDEA takes pride in doing whatever it takes to see their students to and through college and boasts a rigorous curriculum that has been recognized nationally. IDEA employs high-quality, passionate teachers who provide individualized learning and focus on academic excellence and character building.
The commitment to their students doesn’t end when they graduate from high school. IDEA sees their students to and through college because they believe a quality K-12 education enables students to achieve success in higher education and graduate on time. IDEA provides every student with college counseling, support, resources necessary to access college, and follow-up support to ensure its students graduate from college in four years. For ten consecutive years, IDEA has achieved 100% College Acceptance for their graduating seniors. The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report ranked IDEA Public Schools among the Top 1% of high schools in the nation.
In the fall of 2018, IDEA Public Schools will open 2 schools in the Baton Rouge community. That year, they will serve students in grades K-2 and 6, and will increase grade levels each consecutive year until they’re a full K-12 school. That means that students and families who start with IDEA will be able to stay with IDEA through high school graduation. The window for enrolling for the 2018-19 school year will begin in the fall of 2017, with a random, public lottery taking place in early 2018, if student demand exceeds capacity. Applications received after lottery are received on a rolling basis and students are enrolled based on availability.
What Makes IDEA Unique?
IDEA boasts an astounding track record of student success in low-income communities. How do they do it? IDEA credits two key factors: (1) a rigorous, student-centered curriculum focused on fostering well-rounded, college-ready scholars at an early age (2) a collaborative culture of excellence from staff and students alike.
In elementary school, IDEA students participate in a hybrid learning model. This model provides students with a combination of intimate, individualized instruction, and web-based, adaptive support from the nation’s leading educational technologies and software. All elementary students participate in rigorous reading, writing and mathematics instruction and continually yield some of the highest test scores in the nation.
IDEA’s college preparatory curriculum focuses on college-readiness The goal is for each IDEA student to enter their first year of college without the need for remedial courses in any content area, and to be well-prepared to succeed in college-level courses. IDEA provides students the opportunity to experience rigorous and challenging course content in high school and gain college-credit through Advanced Placement.
College-readiness does not stop within the classroom walls at IDEA. Every student receives college counseling, support, and access to resources necessary to access college, and follow-up support to ensure our students graduate from college in four years.
As experts at sending students to and through college, IDEA strives to cultivate a wide array of student interests. IDEA athletic programs include but are not limited to flag football, cross-country, tennis, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, golf, soccer, and cheer. In addition to a thriving sports scene, IDEA campuses offer a variety of clubs—community service, languages, farm and garden, politics, art, music, yearbooks, photography, chess, dance, and much more.
IDEA places tremendous importance on a college degree because overwhelming research suggests college graduation is the single, most-important factor to combat poverty in America. IDEA strives to send every child, no matter their zip-code or the color of their skin, to college so they can achieve their dreams.