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Pharrell Williams to Open Virginia School for Low-Income Families – NBC4 Washington – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-06-12 12:37:03 –

Singer Pharrell Williams, a non-profit organization, plans to open a small private school group for students in low-income families, starting with Norfolk.

The first school will open in Ghent this fall. The group aims to extend the experience of equity-focused nonprofits conducting a 10-year summer program for students in the city from grades 3 to 5.

“If the system is modified and unfair, we need to break it,” Williams said in a news release. “We don’t want rock-step learning that so many kids are lagging behind. What makes them different is what makes them stand up and fly. We want tailor-made learning designed for each child, which is the same as. “

Yellow after Williams’ nonprofit organization, called “Hub” after the Martian habitat in the movie “Mars”, the school is free of tuition for at least the first year. The cost of attendance is covered by philanthropic support.

One of the school’s early donors, the Walton Family Foundation has spent millions of dollars over the last two decades to support and promote charter schools. Yellow also has other relationships with charter supporters. Its Executive Secretary founded a charter in Los Angeles, and the founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, a New York-based non-profit organization, chairs Yellow’s board of directors.

However, the school has no plans to seek local approval or funding to make the school a public charter, said Secretary-General Mike McGaliad.

“We are very clear here that we are not far from cities and districts. We are additive and have any kind of nasty and intrusive impact on these institutions. I don’t want to, “McGaliad said. “It’s very important not to confuse that source of revenue.”

Williams’ nonprofit organization has provided summer programs and other educational opportunities throughout Hampton Roads for years, but housing separation is deeply rooted and the city is worth a billion dollars. Redevelopment of St. Paul, who settled in Norfolk as the first school location due to plans to redevelop one public housing community.

The project expelled families and the city guaranteed residents the ability to choose their destination and return home, but so far the majority of families who have left public housing are in racially and economically isolated areas. Zoned for racially and economically isolated public schools that have arrived.

“Residents are being banished from their homes with limited housing options that may limit their children’s choices,” Yellow Engagement Director Stephanie Walters wrote in an email. .. “We have a great relationship with the city of Norfolk and want to be part of a solution that supports the community with resources and support.”

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, who toured the Harlem Children’s Zone Charter School with Williams in 2019, said he was impressed with what he saw there and is looking forward to what Williams’ school can achieve.

“What happened was to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty,” said Alexander. “I was able to see the students go on to college and some of the Ivy League schools were very impressive. That’s what we witnessed there.”

According to Alexander, Williams’ schools are free of tuition, allowing children whose parents cannot afford to buy a private school to enroll in a private school.

Students attending the Yellow Hub can live anywhere in the city. McGaliad said the nonprofit will later announce the location of the school.

The new school curriculum focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) as well as the summer program. Collaboration and hands-on learning are emphasized.

The school first enrolls 40 to 50 students. Admission is open to qualified third, fourth and fifth graders, but the school does not plan to have a grade-level cohort, McGaliad said. Instead, students are grouped by skill level.

McGalliard says some students are labeled “below grade level” or “improvement” because they traditionally focus on grade level rather than skill level.

“The challenge is that if the progress is too slow compared to a benchmark, it will be tagged with its title, such as” Repair, “” he said. “And it’s detrimental to your evolving self-concept, your sense of what you can achieve. It’s oppressive and the weight that children carry.”

In addition to opening other schools, we plan to open a junior high school next year and grow with this student cohort.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re expanding, and it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re looking at additional sites (at least two other sites) over the next few years,” McGalliard said. Says.

James Avery, the vice-principal of Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, has been hired as the school’s site director, and the school is looking for teachers.

Families can apply for school online at www.teamyellow.org/yellowhab until July 1st, and students will be selected through the lottery process.

The new school will open on September 7th.

Pharrell Williams to Open Virginia School for Low-Income Families – NBC4 Washington Source link Pharrell Williams to Open Virginia School for Low-Income Families – NBC4 Washington

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