Longer school days, longer school years and more teachers in each classroom. That's what 54 kindergartners and 54 first graders have at Persistence Preparatory Charter School in Buffalo since they began class on Aug. 22.
“Too many of my students were coming to me really behind and were lacking the motivation to achieve their full purpose and potential," school founder Joelle Formato says. “Our motto here is that college begins in kindergarten, hallways are lined with college pennants, every one of our home rooms are named after a college or university.”
Each student is called a scholar and their future is Persistence Prep's first priority.
“We actually completed a visit at ever single student’s home for an hour. I traveled to each home to sit down with families just to discuss ‘What are your hopes and dreams for your child? What do you want from them? What do you hope this school means? Why did you choose us?’” said Formato.
School days are about an hour and a half longer than normal lasting from 7:30 a.m. until 3:50 p.m. The school year begins a few weeks prior to public schools in the area. Two teachers have been assigned to each classroom.
Cynthia Canty, parent of a first grader at the school with learning disabilities praises the consistent communication between staff and parents.
"They text us, everyday they text us and let us known how our child has done," Canty said. “Each kid is different, so they're giving the kid the chance to be their self and get the help that they need instead of just one teacher."
Formato says that there are still a few slots of first grade enrollment available for anyone that may be interested.