Involved parents, successful students, and encouraging, knowledgeable teachers combine to make Summit Academy one of the most desirable charter schools in Broward county! After three years in the Coral Springs Community teaching kindergarten through eighth grade, families are singing the praises of this inclusive institution with a focus on “CLASS.”
• Character • Leadership • Academics
• Service • Sportsmanship
The vision of Summit and its principal, Mr. Gus Prats, is that an education is more than the teaching of core subjects. A school, well-connected with the home and the community, is a place for students to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Tiffany Shewell is a third grade reading and social studies teacher at Summit. Relocating from the Philadelphia area when her husband got a new position in South Florida, Tiffany was excited to join the staff at Summit in their first year. She enjoys the team aspect, as she has a “grade partner,“ another teacher who teaches math and science that she works with daily. She says,“We are like type A and type B… The perfect yin and yang. We work so well together! This is a great community of people,” she continues. “When I worked just outside of the city up north, we had so many disciplinary problems. I’ve never seen any at this school! The kids, the parents, and the overall community are so warm and welcoming! It’s been a terrific change!“
She goes on to tell us that, “Testing in the state of Florida has changed, and that takes a lot of pressure off the parents and students. It’s become more of a progress monitoring and growth tracking assessment.” The Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) will be administered as a progress monitoring assessment, which students will participate in three times per year. Tiffany continues, “Aside from testing, and now that they don’t have to worry about FSA scores (a past testing parameter), I think parents are most concerned about how personalized learning is, and the use of centers and differentiated activities in the classroom, rather than just whole group instruction. In my classroom, we have different tiered reading groups, and the kids can read at their level, while also seeing their progress monitoring. We make it really personal for each individual child. Remember, they come at all different points of the year, and at different levels of reading.” Tiffany realizes the importance of meeting each child where they are at when they walk into the classroom the first day. She goes on to tell us that meeting each child’s unique needs is a challenge, but personalized learning is her ultimate goal.
Another popular part of Summit is their PTO, parent teacher organization. I was privileged to meet with them a short time ago and these people are passionate about their children, their community, and the teachers that are spending time daily with their kids. Tiffany tells us, “The PTO is so amazing! They’ll drop off a sweet treat or something kind every once in a while to just make us feel so special! It’s an excellent boost, and us teachers appreciate it so much!”
Summit Academy Charter School is certainly a unique environment to teach our children academically and socially. Their emphasis on individual progress is a trait to be commended in the midst of our traditionally overcrowded school system.
At this time, Summit still has spaces available. Make sure to schedule a tour, Open House held monthly. Please call for time and date at 954.603.3303 or visit www.summitacademy.org