Pitbull’s new Miami charter school set to open

by Dani Cimo, Telemundo

Pitbull wants to make education fun again—and he’s doing it with his new charter school opening up in Miami this week.
The international superstar is best known for his party soundtrack all around the world, but his charter school will be opened in the very same Miami neighborhood where he grew up. The school will focus on sports management and is called Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM)
In an interview with the Washington Post, Pitbull explained why he decided to take up the cause of charter schools.
“The simple fact is that teachers have changed my life. I had a second grade teacher that taught me that yeah, there is a way out…and I had an eleventh grade teacher who taught me to believe in myself…and that’s the same thing I want to do with the kids,” he said.

Pitbull emphasizes the importance of inspiration at SLAM, and he hopes to see kids embrace education again.
“What happens is education is no longer sexy, it’s no longer cool. I want to help put together a curriculum…where it does entertain them and engage them,” he explained.
Latinos are increasingly enrolling in charter schools, going from 20 percent of the charter school population in the 1999-2000 year to 26 percent in 2009-2010, according to George Washington University’s Face the Facts initiative.
Pitbull’s school will be run by non-profit Mater Academy, which has several Miami-area charter schools, and Academica, a large national charter school management company. Academica’s president Fernando Zulueta said at the National Charter Schools Conference in July that the rapper’s role will not be day to day but instead focusing on getting people involved.

The school has faced some criticism for working with Academica, a for-profit company. The National Education Policy Center called Pitbull out not just for Academica’s involvement but also for what they called misogynistic lyrics in his music. Still, Pitbull’s involvement in the school choice movement and desire to help kids get interested in learning again has been mostly well-received.
The Cuban American musician wants to see students at his school find learning fun. He says SLAM‘s mission is to provide Miami’s youth with an innovative educational program, emphasizing in sports-related career preparation. By educating the youth, he hopes to empower them to tackle anything that comes their way.
“There is no way that you can tackle any obstacle or any issue around the world if you are not educated,” he told the Washington Post. “That’s why we have to educate. That’s why I fight for it.”

http://nbclatino.com/2013/08/11/pitbulls-new-miami-charter-school-set-to-open/

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  • Posted On: Oct 21, 2011
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Students from Mater Academy are guest speakers at today’s college board…

October 27, 2011 –Four students from Mater Academy Charter High School located in Hialeah Gardens (Miami-Dade County, FL) are guest speakers today at the annual conference of the College Board which kicked off on Wednesday, October 26 in New York City.

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  • Posted On: Oct 19, 2011
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Somerset Academy Davie Earns Prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award

Broward County, FL –  Somerset Academy Davie was named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Department of Education on September 15, 2011.

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  • Posted On: Jul 22, 2011
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The Best High Schools in America

Academica proudly congratulates Doral Academy High, Mater High, and Mater Lakes High for being named among the top high schools in the country.

MAST Academy #7 in the state

Eight Miami-Dade public high schools earned their way onto Newsweek magazine’s 2011 list of the 500 Best High Schools in America. A total of 43 schools from Florida made the prestigious list, which was released this week.

Leading the list in ranking order for Miami-Dade’s high schools is School for Advanced Studied (28), MAST Academy (46), Coral Reef (53), Miami Palmetto (251), Doctors Charter (374), Mater Academy Charter (404), Mater Lakes Academy (427), and Doral Academy Charter (456).

Newsweek, which has been ranking the top U.S. high schools for more than a decade, revamped its methodology for 2011. The new criteria include six components: graduation rate, college matriculation rate, and AP tests taken per graduate, plus average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/IB scores, and AP courses offered per graduate.

A total of 1,100 schools were assessed to produce the final list of the top 500 high schools. For a complete list of schools, visit the Newsweek website at: www.newsweek.com/content/newsweek/2011/06/19/the-best-high-schools-in-america.html

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  • Posted On: Jul 11, 2011
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Academica proudly congratulates Somerset SoHo for being the most improved school.

Somerset Academy South Homestead Elementary made magic.

That’s how teacher Melissa Alvarez describes the charter school’s leap from a state-issued D grade last year, to an A for 2010-2011. It was the largest grade improvement and highest overall grade of any elementary school in Homestead.

Rather than magic, teachers, parents and students give more likely explanations for the off-the-charts improvement: all the Saturdays, early mornings and late afternoons worked by every staff member (from the principal to the PE teacher); a shift in school culture to better respect and understand students; and a newfound focus on data and educational technologies.

Every child is teachable, said Assistant Principal Layda Morales. It’s just making them believe in themselves.

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  • Posted On: Jun 2, 2011
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28 Mater Academy High School Seniors Earn College Associates Degrees Before…

MIAMI (June 02, 2011) – As children of Hispanic immigrants and a majority being the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, 28 Mater Academy Public Charter High School seniors will receive their high school diplomas on June 10, having also earned their associates degrees from Miami Dade College through Mater Academy’s highly-successful dual enrollment program.

The distinguished high school students, who graduated from Miami Dade College onApril 30th, were among the largest group of graduating seniors within Miami-Dade County Public Schools to earn this recognition. This fall, these students will enter universities across the country as juniors.

We encourage all of our students to challenges themselves by taking college level courses, said Judi Marty, Principal of Mater Academy, located in Hialeah. The dual-enrollment program helps students earn college credits and raise their GPA, but most importantly, it provides them with an opportunity to conquer their fear of the unknown, as many are the first in their families to attend college.

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  • Posted On: May 4, 2011
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Charter School Job Fair on May 7th, 2011

Charter schools are among the fastest growing school choice options in the state of Florida. As of 2010, there are over 400 charter schools, the majority of them located in the southernmost part of the state. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that, with increased accountability, are able to provide an innovative educational approach to the diverse groups of students they serve. Come and find out why a charter school may be a great career option for you! Benefits include: Competitive salaries, Incentives and supplements available to enhance your base pay, Ongoing professional development opportunities, Paid employee benefits, New education support system and new teacher academy, Leadership training Program, Opportunities for growth and advancement and Tuition reimbursement for continuing education.

The Charter Schools Job Fair will be held on Saturday, May 7th from 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. at Mater Academy Middle/High School located at 7901 NW 103rd Street, Hialeah Gardens, Florida, 33016. Parking will be available on site and in locations directed. Charter Schools represented will include the Mater Academy family of charter schools, the Somerset Academy family of charter schools, and a variety of other charter schools located in both Miami-Dade and Broward County.

Candidates should arrive with a completed instructional or noninstructional application. This should be included with resumes, certification(s), credentials, transcripts (if applicable), and any other documentation appropriate to give to the potential school employers. Candidates will be greeted by school staff and may drop off resumes and meet school representatives to find out more about the charter schools they choose to visit. Each school will have a posted list of positions for which they are hiring; however, candidates may drop off resumes and ask questions to schools in which they are interested, regardless of the school’s hiring needs. Candidates may be interviewed and hired for both full and part-time positions in the following areas: PK-12th grade teachers, administrators, curriculum coaches, ESE Specialists, office and support personnel, cafeteria staff, security and maintenance staff, athletic coaches, aftercare counselors, and tutors. Educational requirements for positions vary.

For directions or additional questions, please call 305-828-1886. Thank you!

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  • Posted On: Apr 21, 2011
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Local Charter School Wins Prestigeous College Board Award

Miami-Dade County, FL – Each spring the College Board presents Inspiration Awards to three of America’s most improved secondary schools. These schools are recognized for their outstanding college-preparation programs and partnerships among teachers, parents and community organizations.

On Thursday, April 21, students, educators, administrators, parents and local dignitaries will pack the auditorium at Mater Academy Charter School for an assembly as the school is presented with a 2011 Inspiration Award from the College Board and a check for $25,000 for being one of the three most inspiring secondary schools in America.

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  • Posted On: Apr 18, 2011
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International Studies Charter High School In Miami Wins Prestigious National…

WASHINGTON, DC International Studies Charter High School (ISCHS), a dual language public charter school in Miami, Florida, has been named a winner of the first The School of the Year Award organized by the Embassy of Spain in the United States.

According to the Education Office Embassy of Spain, the award is given to schools in the USA that show excellence in language education programs, specifically CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) programs in English and Spanish. ISCHS earned second place in the national competition. Victor Rodriguez, ISCHS Principal, will be presented an award at a special ceremony on May 6th hosted by the Spanish Ambassador, Mr. Jorge Dezcallar at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.

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  • Posted On: Sep 9, 2010
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Mater Academy East Charter Elementary named a 2010 Blue Ribbon School recipient…

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 304 schools as 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Among the list of high-performing schools is Mater Academy East Charter Elementary School located at 450 SW 4th Street in Little Havana.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

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