“Reading is the most important subject in school”1
In order to maximize the impact we can have on the long-term educational
preparation of our students, we are working to add a private-caliber
Middle School to our existing facility. This endeavor is a long-term goal
that requires wise planning, effective fundraising and professional staffing.
The After-School program we have operated for several years continues,
and will be an extension of the school day for our student body, as well as
the neighborhood kids.
Our children navigate thorny issues and sidestep social quicksand in their
lives everyday. They are street savvy, resilient & tough as nails. Our goal is
to couple the survival instincts they have developed, with being personally
and academically prepared to lead independent, happy lives of purpose.
The Middle School at Strive will be an educational option for highly motivated,
educationally ambitious children and their families. Although there will be a
nominal tuition for our low-income families, our students and families have the
ability to earn their entire tuition back by achieving contracted, pre-determined
academic goals. (see Tuition Vesting below)
By “educating the head, heart and hand”2 with fundamental academics, core
character development and an ethic of individual responsibility for one’s behavior
and choices, Strive students will habituate the intellectual and personal
charactersistics that will lead them to responsible, independent lives of purpose.
Understanding the importance of hard work; good study habits and organization;
a respect for the ideas of others; the development of critical thinking and logical
reasoning; taking responsiblity for one’s learning; and understanding that success
is earned, not given. 3
With Tandem Teaching, our students and teachers advance with each other from
one grade to the next, creating a sustained student-teacher-parent “team”
involvement. This schoolhouse model departs from the assembly-line teaching
that has become the norm in the U.S. Rather than “processing” students along
the “line” year after year, students will enter Strive in 6th grade and remain with
their core teachers through 7th and 8th grade, allowing us to know and work with
their strengths, weaknesses and character in depth.
Our tuition vesting plan is beautiful in it’s simplicity and anticipated effectiveness for
the following reasons:
- It encourages a Parent-Student-Strive collaboration in the long-term educational
success of our students.
- It addresses the stubborn issue of unusually high drop-out rates in the High Schools
near Strive. (see Our Children’s Landscape)
- Tuition: $100 per month/10 month school year
- Our students and their families may earn 100% of their tuition back by signing a
contract with Strive to achieve the following academic goals:
- Graduate High School: 100% of tuition, $3000 is vested.
- Graduate High School with a 3.5 GPA or above: 100% of tuition, plus interest,
approximately $3700 is vested.
Since our Middle School only educates our kids through the 8th grade, this vesting
plan also encourages an ongoing relationship with our Students and their families
as they proceed through High School. The motivating factor in this vesting schedule
encourages them to carry the character and intellectual values they learn at Strive
into their High School careers.
Our former Middle School students will return to mentor & tutor current students at
Strive during the After-School program.
1. Rafe Esquith, There Are No Shortcuts
2. Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery
3. Dr. Maureen Stout, ”The Feel-Good Curriculum: The Dumbing Down of America’s
Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem”