The goal of La Salle Academy is to provide a strong academic foundation, coupled with financial, social, and emotional supports so that our students can have the tools to break free from the cycle of poverty. Specifically, our program targets steady improvement in their reading and math skills. Recent TerraNova standardized test scores for our eighth-grade class demonstrate success in these areas. In third grade, they scored in the 32nd percentile in reading comprehension and the 38th percentile in math. In 2012, as eighth-graders, they scored in the 55th and 45th percentiles, respectively.
To strengthen our academic program, we have implemented the English Language Arts and Mathematics components of the Common Core State Standards, which define the knowledge and skills that students should gain during their K-12 years so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in college or workforce training. We further support the success of our students with a full-time Graduate Support Director, who assists our students in finding a suitable high school and supporting and mentoring them in their high school years. We are proud to report that our first 8th-grade graduates achieved remarkable success in high school, with nearly all graduating on time in 2012, far exceeding the Philadelphia School District’s graduation rate of less than 60%. Even more impressive is that 87% will be attending post-secondary education (college, community college, technical school, and the Navy).
Adding to our program’s success is our daily focus on the emotional well-being of our students. We offer character development lessons, daily class-wide based reflection and sharing sessions, a peer mediation program, and a full-time Social Worker. These features provide the needed support and encouragement to help our students succeed.