By Ashely Ferraro
Since its inception nearly two years ago, Summit Academy Charter School has demonstrated what distinction in education looks like.
The educators at Summit are encouraged to exercise their creativity when it comes to teaching and nurturing their students. While the school follows the highest standard of curriculum, the teachers enjoy flexibility around building their classes.
Third-grade teacher Tiffany Florio claims that this level of openness and versatility is what sets the school apart, “I love the flexibility. That’s what’s different. The administration is very understanding and always hears you out. That’s what’s really important as a teacher.”
Ms. Florio goes on to add, “Our Principal, Mr. Prats, is always open to hearing new ideas. I feel like I make a bigger impact here because I have more of a voice.”
Aside from its stellar curriculum, Summit Academy believes that caring for its teachers is one of the best ways to ensure that students receive such a high level of attentiveness. When we asked kindergarten teacher Dawn Corrie about the leadership structure, she noted that the support she receives from the school allows her to reach her full potential as an educator.
“It’s awesome to have great leadership and to feel supported. If we feel supported by administration, then the students feel supported,” says Ms. Corrie, who has over 25 years of teaching experience.
Kim Johnson, another instructor at Summit, speaks very highly of how Summit allowed her to develop her fifth-graders despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“The most important thing to me was to make all of my students feel included,” she says. She was able to do so by putting together science class take-home activities for parents to pick up and bring home to their children during the height of the pandemic. Without the support from the school, Ms. Johnson wouldn’t have been able to implement these hands-on activities throughout periods of remote learning.
Students, parents, and staff alike can attest to the family-oriented atmosphere that Summit Academy has developed. Kindergarten teacher Crystal Ortega cites a fall storybook parade that the school was able to organize last October despite the obvious challenges at the time. Events like these allow faculty to build stronger relationships with the parents and families of the students.
“Teachers connect to the parents in more than one way—email, messages, and newsletters—so the parents are always in the know of what’s going on,” Ms. Ortega adds. “You don’t get lost in the number of students that walk in the hallway and the number of teachers at the school. It’s a very tight-knit school, and it really is like family.”
Third-grade math and science teacher Anaily Pedraza also agrees that Summit Academy is like a family, “What really appealed to me the most about this school is that it’s like a second home. It’s definitely a close-knit community. We’re very involved with the families, and the families are also very involved with us.”
Every day Summit strives to maintain excellence through safety and security, academics, and providing a family atmosphere.
To take a tour or learn more, please contact Summit Academy at (954) 603-3303. Or visit www.SummitAcademy.org