A Purpose Prep Day
To illustrate how Purpose Prep scholars will spend their day, we have provided a glimpse into a typical day at our school. The typical day is reflected for Camden, an incoming Kindergartener on the path to college. Camden knows that every second of his day has been structured with college in mind, and he is working hard to make this future a reality.
A Day in the Life of a Purpose Prep Kindergarten Scholar
7:30 am - Arrival and Breakfast
Camden runs up the pathway leading to Purpose Prep, slowing down to a walk after his mother calls, “Walk, Camden.” Camden approaches the front entrance of the school and stands directly behind the couple of scholars that precede him. When it is his turn, he approaches the Head of School with his head up high, a smile on his face, and an outstretched hand.
“Good morning, Camden. Are you ready to learn today?” asks the Head of School shaking his hand and smiling at young Camden.
Camden, looking the school leader right in the eyes as he has been taught, smiles back and states, “Yes, Ms. Newman. I am ready to learn today.”
The Head of School makes sure Camden’s shirt is tucked in before he enters the school building, waves to his mom, and then proceeds to greet the scholars lined up behind him. Camden enters the building and is ushered through the hallway by a Purpose Prep teacher who is monitoring scholars to ensure speedy and safe transitions to the cafeteria. As Camden walks through the hallway, college pennants surround him. Camden knows about several of the colleges represented in the hallway. His favorite colleges include Harvard, Fisk, Tennessee State, Morehouse and Vanderbilt. Those are the colleges that his class has learned about thus far, and he is excited by the songs he has learned for each of the schools and their mascots, too. Camden is excited to add more colleges to that list when he gets to first grade.
Camden enters the cafeteria, where he puts his brainwork folder in the crate at the end of the table designated to Fisk University. Every classroom is named after a college, and Camden is a Fisk Bulldog. Sitting in his assigned seat, Camden immediately begins eating his cereal, which has been laid out for him and his classmates ahead of time. It makes Camden feel so good to know each morning, the arrival is the same, and his teachers, brainwork and cereal are always waiting for him. When he is finished, he pulls out his brainwork packet where he practices matching pictures to their corresponding initial letter sound. If you asked Camden why scholars must work on brainwork during breakfast, he would respond with a complete sentence: “I complete my brainwork every morning to enrich my brain in preparation for the intense learning that will take place today.” Scholars are taught the ‘why’ behind the structures and systems in the school that prepare them for college, which strengthen their investment in school.
7:50 am - Morning Motivation
We will demonstrate PURPOSE today. We focus on our learning every single day.
Our PURPOSE is so embedded in us. It's a part of our lives, causing us to RISE
The P is for Purpose, And the R is for Respect, I's for Integrity, We keep ourselves in check.
Self-Determination, yes! Always trying our best, rarely stopping to rest.
E's for Excellence. We'll always be our best
With Purpose, we RISE. Because it’s a part of our lives.
With Purpose, we RISE. Because it’s a part of our lives.
Scholars have been taught that by the last refrain of the chant, which plays twice, their tables should be cleared, and they should be sitting up straight and looking at the speaker. They practiced this every day during the first weeks of school, and Camden and his classmates have gotten very good at the rhythm and the quick clean-up, and it’s fun! The Head of School greets scholars, telling them how excited she is to see them with their “learning faces” on. Then selected classes lead the school in various school chants and songs. The last few minutes of morning motivation focus on giving “shout-outs” to scholars who demonstrated one or more of the RISE with Purpose core values. Today, Jacqueline from Fisk University received a shout out for spelling all of the sight words correctly.
“Way to show Excellence, Jacqueline,” all scholars shout joyfully while pointing to Jacqueline, who smiles brightly. Camden is particularly proud of Jacqueline because he knows how difficult it is to get all the sight words correct. He has mastered 70% of the sight words up to this point and is going to work hard and hope to get a shout out, too.
8:00 am - Community Meeting
At exactly 7:59 am, the Head of School begins dismissing certain classes to their classrooms. Every Tuesday, Camden’s class has community meeting, so his class rises and heads in a silent, single file line to the community meeting area. All scholars sit in their designated area on the carpet with “bottoms flat, backs straight, and hands folded in their lap.” During community meeting, The Head of School leads an academic lesson with students, asking questions across all subject areas, cold calling on particular scholars, and providing adequate checks for understanding for all scholars. Scholar’ brains are thinking at a rapid pace, as they determine whether or not Mrs. Martin’s forty cents is enough money to purchase nine pencils costing five cents each, which continent is the most populated based on last week’s Social Studies lesson, how many syllables are in the word ‘education,’ or which one of the five listed items would not be represented in the category of nonliving things learned in Science class. All scholars are alert, engaged, and eager to hear their name called. Camden is called on to spell one of the sight words he has been most challenged with – their. Before he responds, he asks, “Which one?” Camden knows that “their” is a homophone.
The Head of School smiles and says, “Camden can’t be tricked."
She replies, “Their house is located in the neighborhood adjacent to ours.”
Camden thinks for a second, while students wave their fingers as a sign of support, and then replies in a complete sentence, “Their is spelled T-H-E-I-R.
The Head of School calls, “And he’s so smart” to which all scholars echo chorally, looking at Camden.
Camden, feeling proud and receiving a wink from his teacher, has little time to bask in his glory, as the Head of School is on to the next question. Camden prepares himself to be ready to respond to the next question. Teachers observe the community meeting, encouraging scholars and occasionally noting scholars that seem to be challenged with responding to questions to ensure proper follow-up.