Somerset Academy Eagle Campus - Black families find understanding, trust

Somerset Academy Eagle Campus principal Tunji Williams believes education is a two-way street, a partnership between school and family, with the parent as the child’s first teacher.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dorian Smith wanted a more academically challenging environment for his daughter, D’Yani, so after third grade he moved her from her struggling neighborhood school to a magnet school.

Because of staff churn, though, that school wasn’t working out either. So, in the middle of fifth grade, Smith turned to a college-prep charter school other parents had been telling him about for years.

Now D’Yani is a sixth grader at Somerset Academy Eagle Campus, and excelling.

Smith described the school as having “more of a home vibe.” It’s smaller, warmer, and more structured, he said. It sets high expectations for student performance and communication with parents. And it matters, he said, that in a school where 96% of the students are Black, so are nearly 70% of the teachers and administrators.

“It boils down to a little more understanding and a little more trust,” said Smith, a police officer. “Sometimes you need that familiar face to relate and connect a little better. That’s not to say there is a guarantee that because of that your child is going to prosper. But it helps. Once you ease the comfort level, it’s easier to learn.”

To read the complete article, click on the link here: https://www.reimaginedonline.org/2021/10/in-this-charter-school-black-families-find-understanding-trust/

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