History

The International Prep Academy began in August 2013, with one classroom for newcomers, grades 5-8, at the Columbia/Family Information Center on Bradley and Neil Streets. The continuous growth of culturally and linguistically diverse learners has created an opportunity to expand the offerings of the International Prep Academy. By moving to the eleven acre site of the former Carrie Busey Elementary School on Kirby Avenue, the International Prep Academy now offers Spanish-English Dual Language, Bilingual Education, and Newcomer Essential programs.

School Climate

Staff, students, parents, and volunteers are committed to ensuring that high standards of academics, language, and behavior are accessible to and attainable by all students within a safe, positive, and structured learning environment that encourages the social, emotional,linguistic, and academic development of all students.

Philosophy

Our cultural and linguistic diversity is our greatest strength and contribution to our local and global communities. The International Prep Academy is committed to extending the District's tradition of excellence to dual language and newcomer education. School staff members, students, and parents embrace the city's rich diversity and are committed to making bilingualism the norm.

School Choice Theme

The dual language two-way immersion (TWI) instructional model integrates native Spanish speakers with native English speakers for instruction through two languages: English and Spanish. The faculty and staff at the International Prep Academy are dedicated to creating a culturally and linguistically responsive learning enviornment that respects and embraces languages and cultures.

In a 50/50 dual language setting, students learn two languages as they learn the core academics. Dual language classrooms will have equal numbers of English speakers and Spanish speakers, and the students will be together for all or most of the school day. Instruction in Spanish and in English is divided evenly at all grade levels, and each language is used for a set period of time. The students themselves are models for their respective home languages and cultures.

Through a Spanish/English dual language program, students are unified through two language and two cultures. The goals of the program are for students to become:

  • Bilingual - speak in two languages
  • Bicultural - embrace and navigate two cultures
  • Biliterate - read and write in two languages

IPA currently houses the District's Newcomer Essentials program, which serves students in grades 4-8 who are learning English and may be catching up with academic basics. Students in this program come from very diverse circumstances and countries. IPA teachers work to develop relationships with these families and work to connect them to social service and other resource providers to make sure the students have everything they need to succeed in school.

Enrichment Opportunities

Challenging and enriching learning opportunities are provided to students through highly qualified teachers, specialists, parents, and community volunteers. The commitment to facilitating high-quality language learning and cultural appreciation is at the core of all instructional and enrichment activites at the International Prep Academy. As the school continues to grow, so too will the number and variety of enrichment opportunities for students.

Volunteering and Mentoring Opportunities

Family and community involvement is integral to the success of students at the International Prep Academy. Parents, teachers, and community members have opportunities to volunteer, mentor, and participate in shaping the vision and mission of the school. Stakeholders acknowledge and appreciate the wide range of ways parents can be involved in the school and the variety of ways parents can support student learning and well-being. Volunteers and mentors help cultivate language and cultural equity, which are the foundation of the International Prep Academy.

Technology

Students use Internet-accessible computers, laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads to access web-based instructional programs, curriculum, and resources. Classrooms are equipped with SMART Boards, document cameras, and other devices.