What makes a good friend? How do students get support should they need it? Strong academics are important, but what about the extras, like art and music? These are valuable questions when it comes to choosing a school for your family and the answers are all covered at Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), a K-8 tuition-free school in Southfield, Michigan. Here are top ten reasons families choose PACE:
1. Our Scholars
At PACE Academy, our students — who we call scholars — come first. Our scholars are central to our mission, and to our success. We love our scholars and it shows: our small school environment enables everyone to be recognized by name.
2. Our Teachers
Our teachers are the reason for our achievements. We make sure they are supported with paraprofessionals, professional development, and positive tools to teach our scholars to be their very best.
3. Our Community
Our school community includes families, caregivers, and community members. We involve our community in numerous ways because connections matter at PACE. We care for our community by giving back, from hosting a mobile dentist visit to a holiday Adopt-A-Family program- staff and school families provide food and gifts for those in need with the help of local organizations.
4. Our Values
You can spell out our values in TRIBEs, our thirty minute advisory time that starts each school day. We use it to teach cultural expectations and how to be transformational, respectful, intentional, brave, and empathetic in our relationships. Teachers also use this time to build community and character (see #6).
5. Our Heritage
PACE Academy has been in the community for twenty-three years as a tuition-free public school with the mission to empower students to realize their potential through meaningful educational opportunities and create productive citizens in an ever-changing world. We now have scholars whose parents came here, carrying on our proud tradition.
Our charter school status means we are nimble and can pivot easily when needed. Our first-grade teachers want to take scholars fishing (pictures please!)? We can make that happen because we don’t have a lot of red tape and bureaucracy to muddle through.
6. Our Commitment to Character
Character building is a big deal at our close-knit school. Our Leader in Me program encourages independence and autonomy. Our Social Excellence Protocol focuses on giving emotional support in constructive ways. We teach social emotional learning through positive feedback using the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, PACE Student Social Development Plan, the Michigan Model for Health, and our Social Posture for Success which breaks everything down to this: Be a Friend. Be a Scholar. Be a Leader.
7. Our Enrichments
Sure, we have a Strings music program, art, after school sports and clubs (Archery anyone? How about Twirling Steppers?), Champions before and after school care, and field trips, but at PACE, we also integrate our enrichments into our curriculum and provide hands-on, real life experiences, like taking part in our garden while learning fractions or analyzing the soil.
8. Our Parents are Our Partners
Parents and caregivers are welcomed and encouraged to engage with our community starting with a family orientation interview before setting foot in the classroom. There are many ways to volunteer and make our school hum, inside the classroom or through our School Improvement Team. We prioritize communication with quarterly conferences and even have a Family Support Specialist to keep everyone informed. We also hold Back to School curriculum nights, holiday traditions, and a Fine Arts celebration in the spring.
9. Our Support for All Learners
Everyone is welcome & supported at our close-knit school. We offer academic assistance for all our grades and on Wednesdays, we focus on math and reading as a school. Tutoring is available, for free, after school and we also have support specialists to give additional help.
10. Our Belief in YOU!
When you enroll in PACE Academy, you’ll find a community of people who want you to succeed. We believe in the underlying character of each one of our students, and we are committed to giving them the tools they need to succeed - both today, inside the classroom, and tomorrow, as they take their next steps as leaders in the world.
Join our PACE Academy Warrior family and enroll today!
About PACE Academy
Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth graders in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!