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A waiting list already! Urban Pathways opens school to K-5 kids

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October11/ 2011

What’s the secret for success at Urban Pathways, one of Pittsburgh Public Schools’ original charter schools? How did all 70 members of its last two graduating classes head off to college?

“We have a real college preparatory curriculum, we’re pretty strict with discipline, and we start immediately with goal-setting, not only for college but for their personal lives,” says Linda M. Clautti, the school’s CEO. “And we have a lot of parental support.”

The school has just opened up for K-5 students, supplementing the current students in 6-12. It has 140 students this year in K-3, and will add the other two grades over the next two years, growing to 300 students by 2013.

“We have a waiting list already,” Clautti says. “We’re finding lots of referrals, not only siblings of our current families but friends of our current families.”

The K-5 school offers many unique features. Its curriculum includes the Stephen R. Covey Leader in Me program as well as the Values for Life program developed by Jerome Taylor, founder of Pittsburgh’s Center for Family Excellence and chair of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Urban Pathways also has modular classrooms, with desks grouped in pods, around which students will travel to undertake different activities and lessons.

Concludes Clautti: “We hope that by starting at kindergarten we can get them ready … and they’ll have a seamless transition” to the upper grades.

Writer: Marty Levine

Source: Linda M. Clautti, Urban Pathways Charter School

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