Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg – A Model for Virtual Success

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg

Throughout the 2020 – 2021 school year, Academy Prep scholars proved they are resilient, driven, and committed to their education as they persevered through virtual learning. Even before the effects of Covid-19 on St. Petersburg were fully known, Academy Prep took swift and appropriate action to protect our students and families by intensely preparing for virtual learning. Together we persevered through the challenges by maintaining high expectations and supporting each individual scholar, resulting in unparalleled success.

The incredible results achieved in the past year were made possible by the commitment and dedication of our students and their families, the critical and decisive actions taken by the Academy Prep administrative team, and the unwavering support of our local community. Through a generous donation, Academy Prep immediately acquired Chromebooks to continue serving every scholar through extended virtual learning. Academy Prep Dean of Student Life, Ken Watson, led the administrative effort to bridge the digital divide between school and home. Ken maintained a strong personal connection during a year of virtual learning by going above and beyond in service to hand-deliver devices, virtual supply packs, WiFi hotspots, school supplies, and even desks to Academy Prep families in need. Ken provided constant and individualized attention through virtual learning by monitoring student progress, connecting through phone calls, and even going so far as to make personal home visits to address any issues a student may have been experiencing.

As a result, Academy Prep is now serving more students than ever before and experiencing record-high retention rates. Scholars continue to receive the personalized attention and dynamic learning environment that are hallmarks of an Academy Prep education producing high levels of engagement, consistent attendance, outstanding standardized test results, and positive academic outcomes. Throughout the pandemic, Academy Prep scholars maintained a 99% average daily online attendance, an average grade point of 3.15, and nearly half of all students earned academic honors. Recent Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test scores indicated that Academy Prep scholars collectively did not experience any measurable learning loss through virtual learning. The collective effort of our school and local community ensured that no Academy Prep student was left without access or support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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