• Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Sep 28, 2019
  • Category: News, School

Somerset Academy Bay celebrates its new facility

Students, parents, staff and teachers come together for the Ribbon Cutting ceremony

Miami, FL – Somerset Academy Bay hosted a ribbon cutting event on Monday, September 9th, 2019, to celebrate its new facility located at 9600 SW 97th Avenue, Miami, FL.  Somerset Academy Bay, a K through 8 tuition-free public charter school serves over 600 students in its state-of-the-art facility.  The structure was designed by award-winning architecture firm, Civica Group. The facility is approximately 40,000 square feet, offering a sprawling campus with lush botanical gardens designed by Lucas David Landscape.  Governing Board members, design and construction team members, Somerset Academy Governing Board members, Miami-Dade County Public Schools charter school operations representatives and State representatives were present to honor the school.

Somerset Academy, Inc. Governing Board Chair, Todd German, shared his excitement to finally bring this building to the “SoBay” students and families.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was a tribute to the collaborative efforts of an entire community for making the school a reality. “We are committed to building opportunity and equitable learning environments that serve the needs of all students while working in partnership with our community,” expressed German. 

Principal of Somerset Academy Bay, Saili Hernandez, exclaimed that this was really a twofold celebration. Not only were they commemorating the new building, but also a special praise was given to the students and staff on earning an “A” grade for the 6th  year in a row, and for being recognized as the top Middle School in the stare for the 2018-2019 School ratings !  “It truly is an honor to be part of this amazing school community.  This campus has always been very special.  For the last six years Somerset Bay has been a wonderful community were a sense of pride, family and support fills the air! This beautiful building is an extra bonus, which has allowed to open our doors to many new families and welcome more students to join our top educational program!

The SoBay PTO President, Susie Lopez, also shared how the special atmosphere of Somerset Bay is home to her and her two children who have attended the school since its inaugural year in 2013. 

The attendees of the event enjoyed the musical sounds of the SoBay Dolphin Band and a special performance by the SoBay Glee Club. 

Somerset Academy Bay has highly-qualified, state certified teachers with cutting-edge learning tools that are used in all classrooms along with programs designed to cultivate responsible leaders in all students.  Designated a top middle school in the State of Florida, SoBay offers a  STEM curriculum offered to students.  The elementary school provides before and after care along with strong parent-teacher partnerships.  The middle school offers a higher level preparatory curriculum in technology-rich classrooms. The school also be an array of clubs and sports for students to participate in, such as Student Council, National Honor Society, volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, to name a few.

About Somerset Academy, Inc.

Founded in 1997, Somerset Academy Charter School opened in Miramar, Florida, to humble beginnings.  Appropriately named Somerset Neighborhood, the school was housed in a two-room schoolhouse and served 50 students from Kindergarten through 5th grade. To meet parental demand, the school expanded in the years to follow but was careful to maintain a nurturing, tight-knit learning environment and multi-age/multi-level classroom philosophy that parents love and in which students thrive.

Somerset Academy now offers high-quality K-12 educational programs in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Spain that have, and continue to achieve, academic success. Although all Somerset Academy schools share a vision, each campus has a unique and enriching educational program that is tailored to the community they serve.  This formula, along with incredible support from parents, has made Somerset Academy a nationally recognized, award-winning family of high quality public charter schools.

For more information visit www.somersetacademyschools.com.

Somerset Academy Bay is supported by Academica. Academica is one of the nation’s longest-serving and most successful charter school service and support organizations.  Academica works with over 200 successful charter schools across the US that have been recognized on a local, state and national level.

Contact: Saili Hernandez

Social Share:

  • Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Jun 18, 2019
  • Category: News, School
Cornerstone Charter Academy

Cornerstone Charter Academy to be Honored for Public Service at Multiplying Good Jefferson Awards in Washington, D.C

Cornerstone Charter Academy Students In Action Team will be honored alongside Von Miller, Patagonia, and unsung community heroes

BELLE ISLE, FL. (June 13, 2019)–Multiplying Good, the nation’s leading nonprofit focused on fueling personal growth and leadership through public service, today announced that Cornerstone Charter Academy Students In Action Team will be honored for their service work at its annual Jefferson Awards alongside Von Miller, Denver Broncos’ linebacker/founder Von’s Vision, and Patagonia, designer of outdoor clothing and gear/environmental advocate.

The Awards, now in its 47th year, were co-created by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in Washington, D.C. and is the nation’s largest convening of individuals committed to public service. The Belle Isle students will join 150 grassroots and youth Jefferson Award recipients from across the country.

Multiplying Good’s Students In Action program concentrates on building confidence and developing key skills for youth leaders through an extensive support structure encompassing training, technology, and a continuum of caring adults.

The Service Learning Dedicated Ducks, Cornerstone Charter Academy’s Students In Action team, will be recognized for their dance marathon, Quack-a-thon and their year-long fundraiser and which raised $35,000. The money will benefit Miracle Children, an initiative of the Children’s Miracle Network which helps prematures babies and critically ill children. The Service Learning Dedicated Ducks were inspired to choose this cause by the Shield’s Family, a local family who has two children that are part of the Miracle Children initiative enrolled at Cornerstone Charter Academy. The Dedicated Ducks from Cornerstone Charter Academy, under the leadership of Faculty Advisor Linda Reyes, have participated in the Students In Action program since the 2015-2016 school year.

“By providing a prestigious platform that recognizes outstanding, selfless acts of service, we motivate our award recipients to do more and we inspire others to take action in service to others, creating a ripple of good,” said Hillary Schafer, Multiplying Good CEO. “The youth, grassroots, corporations, and notable national award recipients who join us at the D.C. Jefferson Awards represent the very best of our country, people who have dedicated themselves to serving others. By bringing them together and elevating their work, we inspire positive impact in communities nationwide.”

Following a rebrand in February, which put a greater emphasis on the organization’s overall mission and programming to inspire people of all ages to get involved in service, Multiplying Good continues to pay tribute to its roots by recognizing remarkable service with its twice-annual ceremonies in Washington, D.C. and New York.

Multiplying Good will honor Cornerstone Charter Academy Students In Action team alongside the following national figures for their public service efforts and initiatives:

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller will be honored with the award for Outstanding Public Service in Professional Sports. Miller’s commitment to Denver youth through Von’s Vision provides low-income children with the eye care and corrective eyewear they need to be their best in the classroom and in life. His organization works with partners to donate their time, optometric and ophthalmological services, and frames and prescriptions to benefit thousands of children annually.

On behalf of Patagonia, the company’s environmental advocate Avi Garbow will accept the award for Outstanding Public Service by a Corporation. As an American outdoor apparel company, Patagonia has long been on the leading edge of sustainability in the industry. The organization has donated more than $100 million to nonprofit environmental groups and conservation efforts since its founding in 1973. Through its corporate venture capital fund, Tin Shed Ventures, Patagonia also invests in start-ups that offer solutions to the environmental crisis. These include solar projects, innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water and regenerate soil health, and circular economy models. When possible, Patagonia will partner with the businesses in which it invests, such as Yerdle, which helped Patagonia launch its Worn Wear business, which promises the company will produce and sell quality goods, repair them when needed, recycle them free of charge, and even buy back functional gear in an effort to prolong product use and reduce the company’s carbon, waste, and water footprint.

To purchase tickets for the 2019 D.C. Jefferson Awards, or to learn more about Multiplying Good and this year’s honorees, please visit: http://bit.ly/MULTIPLYGOODINDC.

About Multiplying Good
Multiplying Good is a national nonprofit that channels the power of public service to unleash potential in individuals. For nearly 50 years, they have honored those who build better communities, trained young leaders, and activated individuals and organizations to multiply the impact they can deliver. Through a continuum that starts with engagement and culminates in recognition, they fuel personal growth and multiply the power of service to others. Through recognition, they inspire individuals and those who hear their stories to deliver greater positive change. You can learn more about the organization by visiting MultiplyingGood.org or engaging with their online communities via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Social Share:

  • Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Feb 15, 2019
  • Category: News, School

Charter takeover helped students ‘have a chance at life’

redefinED – February 13, 2019
TALLAHASSEE — Three students from rural, impoverished Jefferson County on Tuesday testified before Florida’s House Education Committee about dramatic improvements at their schools since 2017, when the local district relinquished control of its traditional public schools to a charter school operator.
Prior to the historic transformation, Jefferson County had been among the state’s lowest-performing districts for about a decade. More than half its high school students had been retained in a grade at least twice. In 2016, just 7 percent of its middle schoolers scored on grade level on state math assessments compared to 26 percent in the next-lowest performing district.
In 2017, the Jefferson County School Board voted unanimously to turn over management of its lone primary and secondary schools to Somerset Academy, based in South Florida. Although the state is home to dozens of charters that were converted from traditional public schools, never before had converted charters comprised an entire school system.
Ayana Bradley, a junior at the Jefferson County K-12 high school, told lawmakers Tuesday that before turnaround efforts, students were unmotivated, as many teachers dressed unprofessionally and seemed more interested in gossiping with students than educating them.
“There was no one there for us,” she said. “We had to learn to push ourselves, and some kids didn’t know how to do that. Sometimes they just wouldn’t come to school. Somerset taught us we have a chance at life.”
She added: “We’re not just numbers, we actually mean something. Now, people believe in us – that we can become better and mean something to someone.”
Ayana is now taking dual enrollment classes through Doral College. She wants to attend the University of Central Florida and become a nurse.
The schools’ turnaround was assisted by Academica, a charter school service and support organization in Miami, and Doral College President Doug Rodriguez, who has acted as a consultant since the charter takeover.
“The district had consistently low performance and it was under oversight of the Department of Education,” Rodriguez said. “The district had shrunk in size. There should be about 1,500 students in the district. In 2016-17, there were about 715 students. It’s grown as the school became more successful.”
Rodriguez described Jefferson County as a community with many needs. All students in the district are on a free and reduced-price meal program, and many families in the area do not have their own transportation.
Changes that spurred improvement included hiring new teachers, while retaining many with 25 or more years of experience; philanthropic and logistical support from Academica; and an investment of $5.1 million from Somerset Academy – money that came from loans and grants, Rodriguez said.
“And we changed the teachers’ pay scale,” he said. “We made them among the highest-paid teachers in the state, while they had previously been among the lowest.”
Principal Cory Oliver said major renovations to the schools’ campus have been instrumental in the district’s turnaround.
Students said they wanted a culinary arts program, so a state-of-the-art cooking lab was added, as were eight new portable classrooms, an arts building, a new band room, and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) lab.
The district has begun seeing academic gains.
In 2017-18, Jefferson County’s passing rate jumped 60 percent in math for grades 3-8. No other district in Florida came close to that rate of improvement. The previous year, Jefferson County was the state’s lowest-performing district in that category.
In 2017-18, six Jefferson County high school students were taking dual enrollment classes; this year, the number has grown to nearly 40. And this year, for the first time in a decade, two seniors have been accepted to the University of Florida.
Jamal Washington, an eighth-grader, told legislators that before the charter takeover, students didn’t have educators they could talk to about personal issues.
“There was no one to share our feeling or emotions with,” said Jamal, who wants to be an air-traffic controller. “Since Somerset came, everybody’s trying to get on track and graduate with their class. I want everybody to graduate with me.”
Freshman Alexis Arnold, an aspiring pediatrician, agreed.
“It’s now a contest of who gets the highest grades,” she said. “Everybody’s paying attention in class and nobody’s skipping anymore. You don’t see as many fights.”
Responding to a question from committee vice chair Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, Oliver said the decision to allow a charter school organization to take over the district wasn’t overwhelmingly popular.
“The school district is the No. 1 employer in the county,” he said. “That community bridge is something we’ll continue to work on. But we’re building a huge network of support, so people can see the changes and growth.”
Committee chairwoman Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mt. Dora, said she was moved by the students’ testimony.
“They are why we make sacrifices to be here,” she said. “This is the fruit of the good consequences of good policies that have been passed.”
Original article

Social Share:


Congratulations to Pinecrest Academy South Charter School!

What an outstanding honor!!! Miami Dade County has proclaimed June 2nd as Pinecrest Academy South Charter School Day! We are so very blessed and thankful!



Social Share:

  • SOBE
  • 1
  • Pinecrest
  • Somerset Academy Silver Palms
  • Somerset Academy Miramar Campus