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FORT BEND – We asked Carol Appelbaum, the founder of Sugar Land Prep, why she decided to open a school for middle school and high school students. She replied without hesitation, “My daughter and the other bright, motivated students like her who deserve a school that is exceptional both academically and socially. A school that doesn’t settle for mediocrity. A school that coaches’ students as young as 6th grade to prioritize, set goals, take responsibility and ownership of learning, and manage oneself in a manner that will create their success. A school that requires its students to master content before moving forward. A school that seeks to enroll only students with outstanding character.”
Carol continues, “In school, my daughter waited for others to grasp a subject or watched as kids misbehaving took much of her teachers’ attention. She was a student who worked hard and always did her best as instructed. It was difficult for my daughter to understand why so many of her peers didn’t do the same.” Three decades ago, Carol Appelbaum and her husband co-founded a world-renown teacher training company, ATIseminars.org that now trains 40,000 teachers annually.
At age nine, their daughter, Ciara Appelbaum, presented a speech to nearly 1,000 teachers where she told teachers how much she appreciated what they do for their students. She then pleaded with them not to forget about students who do everything right.
“I do everything I am supposed to do. At the end of most days, my teachers have not thought to say, good job to me. They gave their attention to all the students who misbehave or have trouble learning a concept because they didn’t follow instructions,” Ciara said.
As a parent, Carol’s purpose became clear. She had been part of training teachers how to have a model classroom for 20 years. If anyone knew how to start a school, it’s Carol Appelbaum.
Sugar Land Preparatory Academy (SLP) is a school where self-directed middle and high school students take control of their education. SLP opened in 2009 and has quickly become one of the most unique and successful schools in the U.S. catering to high achieving students with outstanding character.
Prospective students are interviewed and screened. SLP’s curriculum is not typical; it is challenging and rigorous, and students are required to earn “A’s.” They have digital courses and assignments that are self-paced that prepare students for the tech-savvy future. High school students are only accepted if they are transferring “A’s” from their previous schools. SLP has an open concept-learning environment that is reminiscent of university libraries and collaborative “group think” style businesses like Google. Their students schedule their days like they are running a business, intertwining coursework with lessons in life-skills, planning, goal setting, and mentoring.
SLP students learn how to be pro-active thinkers. They work on a block schedule to closely parallel the structure of college courses. SLP does not use test taking shortcuts like true-false or multiple choice. Essay tests are the norm. Students participate and manage professional meetings and speech contests to learn and practice the art of articulating knowledge and passion.
SAT and ACT prep is included in SLP’s standard curriculum. Students begin taking and practicing PSAT, SAT, ACTs as early as 6th grade. SLP has a high percentage of 7th graders who have earned DUKE TIP State and Grand recognition. SLP offers students a youth engineering graphics design class where they learn computer-aided design software called Creo Parametric.
The philosophy of Sugar Land Preparatory Academy is to deliver academic success through a uniquely individualized curriculum schedule and low teacher to student ratio. This philosophy is directly related to their belief that “assembly line” education, in which every student in every class is following a predetermined schedule, is an outdated model. Sugar Land Preparatory students are thriving with the model of individualized curriculum. Many of their students are doing coursework one to two grades above age level.
The SLP graduates do well in college. In fact, Carol Appelbaum’s daughter graduated from SLP three months after turning 17 and will graduate college at age 20. She also was accepted to study at The University of Cambridge in England.
A full 90% of SLP’s graduates have earned their university’s Dean’s List or the equivalent.
Sugar Land Prep is conveniently located just off the Southwest Freeway (Hwy 59) near the Beltway.
If you have a motivated child who loves to learn, NOW is the perfect time to ask yourself: Is your child receiving the all-around education you desire?
If you are a parent who desires to give your child academic success, call 281-303-5590 to learn more. Visit Sugar Land Preparatory Academy’s website SugarLandPrep.com to register for Summer Camp sessions and RSVP for the Open House March 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm.