Explore Excel Charter School

Website: http://www.explorecharterschool.org/
District: CSD 18
Authorizer: SUNY
Partner Organization: Explore Schools, Inc.

The mission of Explore Excel Charter School is for its students to demonstrate the academic skills and critical-thinking abilities they need to be successful in a college-preparatory high school. Excel is modeled after two other Chancellor authorized charter schools: Explore Charter School ("Explore") and Empower Charter School ("Empower"). Excel will be part of the Explore Schools network.

Excel will use the following key design elements to implement the school’s program:

  • Small class sizes and use of in-class, flexible, skill-based groups;
  • A longer school year (192 days of instruction) and school day (7:50 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.);
  • A combination of explicit skills-based instruction and units that reinforce critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Clear academic objectives aligned with curricular materials and regular assessment using a variety of tools, as well as the use of assessments to guide instruction and target student needs;
  • A distinct culture where accomplishments are celebrated, teachers reinforce good behavior, students wear uniforms, and positive behavior is rewarded through membership in the “Respect Corps”;
  • Increased opportunities for parent involvement, including weekly communication with parents/guardians, progress reports, and conferences. A “State of the School” would be presented to parents each year to disclose information about the school’s academic program, financial stability, student attendance, and governance; and
  • A commitment to ongoing professional growth for staff, including early release days to focus on professional development, full time literacy and math specialists that work with teachers, and teacher choice in what professional development they need to serve their students.