Five months after opening in August 2019, Summit Academy Charter School has created an atmosphere of safety, positivity, family, and community. Slated for grades K -8, enrollment is currently open and filling fast for the 2020-2021 school year. The school is expected to grow from 185 students to about 375.
Meeting with parents from Coral Springs and Parkland who are part of Summit‘s School Advisory Council, our gathering is friendly, informative, and has a palpable, positive energy. Everyone agrees when Danielle Farina says, “Our kids are happier here.” The consensus of all parents at the meeting is that their kids are thriving when compared to their previous educational experiences.
Lauren Hillier tells me, “Before Summit Academy, my kids used to wake up every morning and whine about going to school. Even my middle schooler enjoys school here!” Her kids are in fourth and sixth grade. “My son was bullied by a child and a teacher at a previous school. Now I notice a difference… He’s smiling again! He’s happy!”
Danielle Farina says, “We had some bad experiences at our old school, and wanted to try something new. I really liked the fact that Summit was smaller, with a private school feel. When Mr. Prats went over his curriculum and shared his vision, I was hooked!”
“We were so excited about his vision,” mom Oriya Amedy tells me. “My Family did not have a great experience in the public schools, so when Danielle told me about this new school, we became part of the Summit family.” Her two children are in the third and fifth grades. She continues, “In two years at public school, my son became extremely depressed. From DAY ONE here, he was the son from two years ago! My family is completely happy and excited to participate in Mr. Prats‘ vision.”
Parkland resident Anne Marie Cataldi has children at Summit in the fifth and seventh grades. “We had many issues at the local middle school, and planned to make a change. I saw the ad in Spectator Magazine and came to the open house. My kids love it here, and my older child feels safe.”
Parents are thrilled with their children’s academic progress, the fun and friendships that their kids enjoy at school, and the peace of mind they have knowing their kids are safe at Summit. Peppered throughout our conversation are the words Challenging, Fun, Family, Relaxed, Safe, United.
Principal Prats clearly outlines Summit’s objectives, “The vision we have can be summarized in three basic pillars. Number one is safety and security. We have 46 security cameras.The average school has a smaller amount, usually just 8 to 10 cameras… A badge is required for access to Summit. We have the Raptor system used in hospitals, and we have a Guardian security guard in addition to others.” Families at Summit are grateful for the Guardian safety officer, Mr. Cue, who knows all of the kids by name and is on staff full-time. Mr. Prats continues, “Pillar number two would be our academics. We do not accept average. We use Pearson, which is a much more complete, elevated, and rigorous curriculum. The third pillar is to maintain the family atmosphere. Most of the parents here feel that that aspect has fallen off from other schools in our community. We don’t want any of our students to feel like a number… They have a name! The children are very welcoming to one another… We tell them that they are not here to be boys and girls; they are here to be ladies and gentlemen.“ Mr. Prats adds, “Things like manners, respect, and chivalry existed when our parents and grandparents went to school. Our generation lost it. I feel like it’s our obligation within the confines of this building to bring that back.“
With a clearly stated vision, a team of like-minded families, and a staff wholly focused on student safety and success, Summit Academy begins this new decade ripe with promise. Mr. Prats tells me, “We started with a vision, but with the help of these families, it will become a legacy.”
To take a tour or attend the next open house, please contact Summit at (954) 603-3303.