RICHTON PARK, IL.—(ENEWSPF)–January 29, 2016—Dr. Blondean Davis, CEO of Southland College Prep Charter High School, (center) joined faculty and administrators in welcoming alumni from more than 49 colleges and universities from around the U.S. who attended a recent reunion at the school. Among the Southland graduates who attended the reunion were students currently pursuing higher education studies at:
American University, Arizona State University, Augustana College, Aurora College, Illinois, Beloit College, Bradley University, Central College, Coe College, DePaul University, Eastern Illinois University, East West University, Fisk University, Governors State University, Grinnell College, Hampton University, Harper College, Hofstra University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Jackson State University, Joliet Junior College, Knox College, Lawrence University, Lincoln College, Loyola University New Orleans, Northern Illinois University, Marquette University, Michigan State University, Morehouse College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Ohio University, Prairie State College, Princeton University, Roosevelt University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, University of Illinois – Springfield, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, University of Missouri, University of Notre Dame, US Air Force Academy, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale University.
All members of the first two graduating classes of Southland College Prep Charter High School, now a six-year-old public charter high school, were accepted by colleges and universities around the U.S. Collectively, the classes of 2014 and 2015 earned a total of $ 22.5 million in merit scholarships.
Background Southland College Prep Charter High School, Richton Park, Illinois
Southland College Prep Charter High School opened in August 2010. It is the only public charter high school in Chicago’s suburbs. Southland was created in response to requests of parents, community leaders and educators who petitioned the Illinois State Board of Education for an alternative to existing area institutions.
Southland‘s total enrollment capacity, as set by the Illinois State Board of Education, is 500 students. The new school is designed to prepare all of its graduates for academic success in college
Admission to Southland is on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to race, ethnicity, disability and religious preference.
Because more students apply for enrollment then the available space at Southland, a well publicized annual public Lottery is held to determine which students will be admitted, as required by the Illinois Charter Schools Law.
The only tests for admission are successful completion of elementary school and residence in District 227’s four elementary school districts which include: Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park and Tinley Park.
The demographic composition of Southland’s student body is reflective of the communities in which the students live. Currently, 95% of Southland’s students are African American, 1% is Hispanic, less than 1% is Asian, 1% is White, and 2% are identified as “Other.” 60% of Southland’s students are economically disadvantaged as measured by the federal school lunch program. 9.5% of Southland’s students receive special education services.
Now in its sixth year, Southland has made extraordinary progress.
Objective evidence establishes that Southland students are out-performing their peers in neighboring district schools.
Drawing on data compiled by the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, among the state’s secondary schools, Southland posted these results:
- a four-year graduation rate of 98.6 percent, the highest in the state among charter secondary schools serving a largely African-American population.
- Every member of its first two graduating classes were accepted by one or more top colleges and universities, such as: Bucknell, Coe, Columbia University, Cornell, Drake, Duke, Georgia Tech, Grinnell, Howard, Lehigh, Morehouse, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Oberlin, Princeton, Purdue, Rutgers, Tufts, Vanderbilt, Vassar, Yale, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, University of Virginia, Washington University and scores of other private and public schools.
- Southland’s first two graduating class received offers of more than $22.5 million in merit-based scholarships
Southland College Prep Charter High School is focused on preparing all of its graduates to enter and to earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university.
Students earn 30 credit hours; eight more than are typically required of traditional high school graduates.
Located at 4601 West Sauk Trail, Richton Park, on eight acres in a three-story, 85,000 square foot, state-of-the-art learning center, Southland has small class sizes, an extended rigorous European model nine- hour school day, from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., five days a week. Southland’s college prep curriculum emphasizes foreign languages, math, science and the arts.
After 5 p.m. when classes are over, only then do Southland’s students begin their extra-curricular activities such as speech and forensics in which they excel, dance, band, chorus or a select group of Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sanctioned sports teams such as track, basketball, volleyball, golf, tennis and bowling.
Saturdays are equally busy for Southland’s students and faculty.
The junior class is on campus working on ACT preparation skills; other students from all years who seek extra assistance with their courses are engaged with faculty; the speech and forensic team, band and chorus and athletic teams are either practicing or on the road at a competition.
Southland’s students use 21st century classroom tools including an electronic portfolio of work and a blog for each subject area. Students engage in technology-based collaborative learning with other students, have access to video conferencing and technology assisted home-school communication to keep parents informed of progress.
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