Educational Institutions

PROPEL Schools Foundation

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • www.propelschools.org

Mission Statement

The Propel Schools Foundation supports the work of Propel Schools, a not-for-profit school organization whose mission is to catalyze the transformation of public education so that all children have access to high performing public schools. We pursue this mission by opening and operating high performance schools of choice in educationally underserved communities. We do this on the belief that establishing a competitive dynamic in public education is the best way to provide the region's public schools with sustained incentives for the hard work of continuous self-improvement.

Main Programs

  1. School Day Education
  2. Afterschool Program
  3. CreativeArts Program
  4. Pittsburgh Urban Teaching Corps
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Eight locations are K-8 schools; two are high schools. All are located throughout Allegheny County, including two schools in the City of Pittsburgh. The overwhelming majority of our students reside in underserved communities, are African-American and eligible for the Federal free/reduced lunch program. Fourteen percent of students have special needs. This year, Propel is educating 3600 students, with another 3500 youth on our waiting list. In addition to schoolday learning, Propel's holistic model with very positive, life-changing results, includes afterschool programming, a college savings program and other initiatives.

ruling year

2004

Principal Officer since 2003

Self-reported

Mr. Jeremy Resnick

Co Principal Officer since 2003

Self-reported

Dr. Tina Chekan

Keywords

Self-reported

education, charter schools, youth, achievement, transformation

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EIN

20-1100962

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Impact statement
Propel Schools proudly shares these accomplishments from our 2014-2015 school year: 1. Continuing to close the achievement gap as indicated by the latest PSSA scores for Propel students. In comparison to their peers (from the districts where Propel draws most of its students), 34% more students from low-income families at Propel met or exceeded grade level standards; and 35% more African American students at Propel met or exceeded grade level. 2. Successfully maintaining the Propel Schools model, our Culture of Dignity and delivery of a high quality public education while our student body continues to grow. This year's priority goals: 1. Obtaining approval to open Propel Hazelwood, our 11th school. 2. Planning for a new and unique middle school model. 3. Expand our network of collaborators, supporters and volunteers.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

School Day Education

Propel Schools’ educational model is based on a vision of inspiring each student toward three goals—academic excellence, community service and personal power. A distinctive, high-energy, motivating school climate in which to students can strive for these goals is created through daily use of the following six Promising Principles: Agile Instruction, Embedded Support, Culture of Dignity, Fully Valued Arts Program, Vibrant Teaching Communities, and Quest for Excellence. Propel’s unique set of features that promote student achievement include: small class size; individualized instruction; continuous student assessment driving decision-making; longer school day and schoolyear; daily 2.5 hour literacy block; hands-on STEM learning; strong arts program; emphasis on current and emerging technology to encourage 21st Century learning, employment and living skills; student learning shared with families at Celebrations of Learning; and extensive professional development for teaching staff.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 2

Afterschool Program

The Afterschool Program is a comprehensive extended day initiative for K-12 children who attend Propel’s schools. Approximately 700 students participate; programs ranges from 18-36 weeks in duration (depending on the location) and generally occur Monday-Thursday. Some schools enjoy communal dinners. Consistent attendance is encouraged, as research and experience show this can increase the impact of extended day efforts. Afterschool features academic support and enrichment experiences through homework time, applied technology and science experiences, physical education, cooking/nutrition, arts, community service. Afterschool activities are linked to the regular day, and supervised by schoolday staff already familiar to students. They're assisted by visiting artists, science collaborators, experts in varied fields, AmeriCorps and volunteers who mentor and nurture the students within their care. Students also explore their neighborhoods and collaborate with community partners.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 3

CreativeArts Program

The CreativeArts Program was established in accordance with the mission and core beliefs of Propel. "Pursuing personal passions and participation in the arts, physical activities and community service promote both understanding of the world and appreciation for individual differences." This program involves relationships with expert partners from local arts groups-fine and performing arts, as well as others. From musical and dance groups to karate instructors to puppetry and theater collaborators, Propel students explore various art genres. These artist residencies throughout the year supplement the on-going use of creative expression in the classroom, as every Propel School also has an art and a music teacher. Visiting artist activities are coordinated by a Director who ensures that all students have daily exposure to quality CreativeArts experiences.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 4

Pittsburgh Urban Teaching Corps

Propel has created a track record of successfully educating urban students, we consistently faces the challenge of finding teachers to effectively lead our students in their classrooms. The identification and retention of a strong teaching force is a critical need for Propel to sustain and improve student outcomes. A new, year-long fellowship program has been created in partnership with Chatham University. It’s based on an apprenticeship approach, rather than a traditional, theoretical one. Fellows earn both a Master’s Degree and teaching certification and experience significant student teaching time throughout the schoolyear. Other innovative features: some coursework is taught by Propel staff as adjunct faculty; half of classes held at Propel’s schools; and a social justice theme pervades all courses. Fellows successfully completing the program are very likely to be hired by Propel for multiple years. Propel’s first cohort will finish their program this summer.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Eight locations are K-8 schools; two are high schools. All are located throughout Allegheny County, including two schools in the City of Pittsburgh. The overwhelming majority of our students reside in underserved communities, are African-American and eligible for the Federal free/reduced lunch program. Fourteen percent of students have special needs. This year, Propel is educating 3600 students, with another 3500 youth on our waiting list. In addition to schoolday learning, Propel's holistic model with very positive, life-changing results, includes afterschool programming, a college savings program and other initiatives.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

Needs Statement Propel Schools is committed to a holistic programming: in addition to providing an excellent public education, we seek to address other needs of our students from underserved communities. We hope to close the opportunity gap for them, in addition to the academic gap. Thus, the following priority needs for our children will require financial resources: 1. Afterschool-each Propel location has a safe, comprehensive afterschool program meeting students' academic and enrichment needs. 2. Beyond Propel-this initiative helps our students better prepare for, and persist in their post-secondary endeavors, and move into a more financially stable adulthood. 3. Mental Wellness-Propel is implementing a unique, school-based program to promote student mental health and wellness, and to enhance the classroom learning environment for all students. 4. Talent Pipeline-we seek to increase talent recruitment, preparation, development and retention efforts to ultimately benefit our students.

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External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Propel Schools Foundation
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

PROPEL Schools Foundation

Leadership

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Principal Officer

Mr. Jeremy Resnick

Co Principal Officer

Dr. Tina Chekan

BIO

Jeremy Resnick serves as the Executive Director of the Propel Schools Foundation and is a co-founder of Propel Schools. With his leadership, Propel Schools has grown to be a regional force in efforts to reform Southwestern Pennsylvania public education, serving approximately 3,600 students at ten locations in Allegheny County. Propel Schools has become one of Pennsylvania's top performing charter school organizations with a long waiting lists. Jeremy's work has been recently been named a 2014 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow; and was recognized with a 2013 Distinguished Individual Leadership Award from Coro Pittsburgh. He also received the Business Times' 2007 Diamond Award and the Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners' 2009 Social Venture Award. Prior to co-founding Propel, he was a founder and the Administrative/Educational Leader at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, a founder and director of the Charter Schools Project at Duquesne University, founder and director of the Steel Center Technical Academy and a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

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Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Stewart Barmen Esq.

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?