Fifteen Democracy Prep Charter High School board members met for a monthly meeting March 9 to receive financial and academic updates on the school.
The corporate-style board meeting lasted an hour and took place at the school, located at 222 West 134th Street in Central Harlem. The board addressed the students’ test scores, attendance rate, and recent grants, among other brief news updates.
The meetings are public, but no parents attended. School staff said they only show up periodically with questions or concerns.
Democracy Prep Charter School, part of a network of 17 charter schools, serves grades nine through twelve.
The school has made academic progress, including an increase in student test scores in English and U.S History.
Last year, 65 percent of students passed the U.S government regents exam, and 80 percent passed their English regents exam.
Katie Duffy, Democracy Prep’s CEO, credited the school’s three principals, who were once English teachers, for the school’s improvement in English. She said Democracy Prep students have struggled in that subject in the past.
Math and science scores did not improve as much as the board members hoped, however.
The board members said they want to focus on those subjects in the coming year. They plan to add more writing in science classes, and add algebra II and trigonometry to the curriculum next year.
Finances were on target, according to the board. The school received $250,000 as part of a Robin Hood Foundation grant, and another grant of about $50,000 from Sterling Bank. Both donors support Democracy Prep’s work to make college accessible.