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Hardy Brown College Prep is Enrolling Students

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By Simeon Gant –

A new college preparatory charter school in San Bernardino is now enrolling students in Kindergarten and grades first, second, third and sixth.

Local San Bernardino parents joined with Sacramento-based Fortune School of Education to bring the new school to San Bernardino focused on improving academic performance for African American students and increasing college going rates.

Approved unanimously by the San Bernardino City Unified School Board last September, the K-8 charter school named for Black Voice News publisher, Hardy Brown is on schedule to open its doors August 18, 2010, with 235 students.

Enrollment continues until April 15, 2010, the deadline for student applications.

Danny Tillman, school board vice president, made the motion to approve Hardy Brown College Prep.

“I have a lot of excitement only because of the experience I know the leaders of this school have,” said Tillman.

Parents of 140 students have already applied to send their children to the college prep charter school. Five months before the official start of school, less than a hundred slots remain available.

Over 600 teachers have applied to compete for 13 teaching vacancies at the new school, which will open in the heart of downtown San Bernardino.

Charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that are responsive to students’ needs and are held accountable for improved student achievement. There are 809 charter schools serving over 341,000 students in California.

Joette Spencer-Campbell, president of Concerned African American Parents Alliance commented on the opening of Hardy Brown College Prep. “I feel hopeful. I feel encouraged. I feel wonderful.”

“People want a good education for their children” said Cheryl Brown, president of the San Bernardino Branch NAACP.

Hardy Brown College Prep will open with grades K-3 and 6th, and then grow a grade each year until the school reaches capacity at 485 K-8 students in 2013.

Hardy Brown College Prep is modeled after PS7, a successful school in Sacramento serving predominately African American students.

State Superintendent Jack O’Connell has recognized PS7, ranking it among the state’s top schools.

“With Hardy Brown College Prep, we are replicating the education model we established at PS7 in Sacramento,” says Margaret Fortune, president of the Fortune School of Education. Fortune and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson founded the school in 2003 when she was superintendent of St. HOPE Public Schools. Last year, PS7 scored 873 on the California Academic Performance Index. An 800 score is the state’s goal for all public schools.

“PS7 is witnessing incredible success by implementing five core principles of education achievement -- high expectations, choice and commitment, more time, focus on results and citizenship. We will do the same at Hardy Brown College Prep,” said Fortune.

School organizers say they plan to substantially improve upon the results currently experienced by African American students in the San Bernardino City schools. In 2009, only 12 percent of the city schools’ black eighth graders reached proficiency in Algebra.

“Why does that make a difference?” asked Dina Walker speaking at a recent parent meeting. Walker is a parent of a sixth grader who will attend Hardy Brown College Prep. “Proficiency in Algebra by the eighth grade is one of the main gatekeepers to college prep classes.”

For more information on Hardy Brown College Prep, call 909-522-1916 or attend an enrollment meeting:

March 6 at 10AM
Boys & Girls Club
1180 W. 9th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92411

March 20 at 10AM
New Hope Family Life Center
1505 W. Highland Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92411