Sacramento -- Seventeen years to the month since it was established as an after-school program to help under-served children from the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, St. HOPE will expand operations into New York City as part of a historic partnership with the city’s Department of Education (NYCDOE).  At the cornerstone of the collaboration will be the revitalization of the Choir Academy of Harlem, an inner-city public school serving approximately 500 students. St. HOPE has already deployed an “advance team” staff to lead outreach to all parents, teachers, and staff, and support planning and operations in the school for the fall.


Kevin Johnson, founder and CEO of St. HOPE, has been asked by communities across California and throughout the country to expand St. HOPE’s unique model for community revitalization.  New York City will be the first growth city.  “I’m thrilled to make New York City and the Choir Academy of Harlem St. HOPE’s first expansion site, and I look forward to hearing more from the school community about their hopes and dreams for the school,” Johnson said. 


Revitalization of the Choir Academy will begin in fall, 2006 in partnership with the NYCDOE.  Full implementation of the St. HOPE Educational model is expected to be phased in over a two year period.  Joel I. Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, and Andres Alonso, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, are eager for St. HOPE to arrive in their city.  “St. HOPE’s track record in delivering superior academic results for historically underserved students, through a theme-based curriculum, in a small school environment, is parallel to the Department of Education's vision of the Choir Academy's highest potential.  We look forward to working with St. HOPE, and are confident the students of the Choir Academy will benefit from Kevin’s vision and leadership,” said Chancellor Klein.  Deputy Chancellor Alonso added, “This new partnership with St. HOPE offers the school and community a path forward.  It has obviously been a difficult and distracting year for the school (Choir Academy), and we are confident that St. HOPE’s educational model -- including high expectations, clear accountability for student performance, and a deeply ingrained arts curriculum -- creates the building blocks for school success.”


St. HOPE currently operates 5 small charter schools in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, California serving nearly 2,000 students in grades K-12, and will be opening a preschool in fall, 2007.  Additionally, in 2003 St. HOPE rehabilitated a 25,000 square foot historic complex bringing to its community a new mixed-use development project known as the 40 Acres Art Gallery and Cultural Center.  40 Acres now houses a Starbucks, an African-American barbershop and bookstore, an art gallery, 225-seat theater, and 12 loft apartments.  This unique combination of public education and economic development is the foundation of St. HOPE’s efforts to revitalize inner city communities.  St. HOPE anticipates that within two years it will be fully implementing its unique and comprehensive approach to community revitalization in Harlem.


St. HOPE has achieved significant success to date.  Over the last 17 years, St. HOPE has dramatically improved the community of Oak Park, and the educational landscape specifically.  St. HOPE has made a major economic impact including the addition of 14 businesses, 282 jobs, and $11 million in development.  Since it began the management of Sacramento High School in 2003, the school has seen unprecedented academic growth. The school’s API scores (a California state index of academic achievement) are currently the highest in Sacramento High School history. For the first time, a large percentage of graduating seniors are leaving to attend institutions of higher education.  The results and growth of St HOPE’s elementary school are even greater.  In its first two years of operation, the schools met all AYP criteria as established by the US Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind Act. From 2004 to 2005, the schools API score jumped 99 points from 638 to 737, a staggering leap for one year’s time.


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