Las Vegas, NV - November 02, 2016
Under Gov. Brian Sandoval’s leadership, the Nevada Achievement School District (NV ASD) was created in part to bring the best national charter school operators to serve Nevada’s students and families with high quality, independent, neighborhood school options.
After a rigorous, national application process, the NV ASD announced that in partnership with the Nevada Department Education on Nov. 1, it has qualified Democracy Prep Public Schools (DPPS), a New York-based not-for-profit charter management organization, as a qualified operator. DPPS will now work to explore partnership with the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy.
The mission of Democracy Prep is to educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. Its alums are matriculated at America’s best public and private colleges.
“Democracy Prep is completely committed to providing our students with the finest education and preparing them to go to college,” said Katie Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of Democracy Prep. “We look forward to working closely with parents and teachers to answer all their questions about Democracy Prep. We are proud of our values, our families, staff and scholars.”
The federal government recently awarded Democracy Prep $12.7 million through the federal Charter School Program to expand and replicate its successful model across the country from its current 19 high-performing public charter schools in New York City; Camden, New Jersey; the District of Columbia; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana over the next five years.
“This is a clear example of working in partnership with our local community leaders and schools to put kids first,” said Brett Barley, Executive Director of the Nevada Achievement School District. “This is an opportunity for the Agassi Board, the families of Agassi Scholars and Democracy Prep to build the next iteration of Agassi Prep.”
After seeing that high-quality, national operators were seeking the chance to serve the students of Las Vegas, the Governing Board of Agassi Prep is seizing the opportunity to continually improve their school and set the tone for the State's public education community. Over the next 45 days, the Governing Board will participate in a community engagement process to potentially partner with Democracy Prep Public Schools to bring the program to the next level for all Agassi Scholars.
“We firmly and enthusiastically stand by our commitment to the community and our Agassi Scholars to do whatever it takes to ensure college access and success by enhancing academic achievement,” said John Bailey, Governing Board Chairman. “Over the coming weeks, the Governing Board of Agassi Prep will work with the Agassi teachers and staff, parents, the surrounding community, and the NV ASD team to facilitate a dialogue with Democracy Prep to give us a new and exciting way to take our program to the next level. We share in Democracy Prep’s mantra: Work Hard. Go to College. Change the World!”
- Democracy Prep Public Schools (“DPPS”) participated in an event in 2015, hosted by Opportunity 180 (O180) the State’s Charter School Harbor Master, to learn more about the possibility of expanding to Nevada.
- Democracy Prep Public Schools was not initially interested in Nevada.
- O180 facilitated an introduction between DPPS and Agassi Prep Charter School, given Agassi Prep’s focus on being a test lab of ideas and opportunities to serve students in new ways.
- Agassi Prep and Democracy Prep have engaged in ongoing discussions related to a potential partnership to date.
- The Nevada Achievement School District was identified as the best fit to explore DPPS sponsorship given that both organizations focus on school transformation and the NV ASD is structured to support national CMOs entry into the Nevada marketplace.
- DPPS submitted an application to the Nevada Achievement School District on August 31, 2016.
- DPPS was approved as a qualified non-profit charter school operator to serve students in Nevada on November 1, 2016.
The next steps:
- A formal partnership between Democracy Prep and Agassi Prep includes a family and parent engagement process with Agassi Prep scholars and families.
- Over the next 45 days, DPPS will work with the Agassi Prep Leadership to actively engage families and receive their feedback on the proposed partnership.
- The Agassi Prep Governing Board will consider the parent and family feedback and make a final decision as to the partnership at its December 13, 2016, Board meeting.