St. Louis College Prep was originally established as South City Preparatory Academy in August 2011 as a college prep charter school dedicated to preparing the children of St. Louis City for college by providing a rigorous education, developing character and emphasizing service within the surrounding community.
Before South City Prep opened its doors in 2011, the founding board was developed in 2009 under the mission and vision of Mike Malone. During Mike's eight years of teaching, he saw the struggles of urban youth and looked to create innovative strategies to help students overcome those difficulties. In 2008, Mike began working for the Missouri Charter Public School Association as the Director of Member Service and New School Development. In this position, he helped develop the association's new school development program and was given the opportunity to observe charter schools across the state and county.
Over the course of two years, Mike noted the particular successes and failures of these schools and developed a strong support network with charter school developers in both St. Louis and Kansas City. In the fall of 2009, Mike started working on the charter application for South City Prep and began to reach out to others in his network who envisioned a school with a similar mission and who displayed specific skill sets. In January of 2010, the initial founding group of Rodney Malone, Matt Stark, Mike Malone, Carter Cunningham and Kelli Best-Oliver met, approved a proposed timeline and began the hard work of opening a rigorous college prep middle/high school in St. Louis City. Three members of the founding team became members of the founding board on February 8th, 2010 upon submitting the Articles of Incorporation to the State of Missouri. In November of 2010, South City Prep's charter application received sponsorship from the University of Missouri- St. Louis and was approved by the State Board of Education.
South City Prep was proud to open its doors to serve 5th and 6th graders in August 2011. During its first year, scholars averaged over 1.5 years worth of growth in Math, Reading and Writing. In August 2012, the school grew to grades 5-7 with 130 students. In year 2, South City Prep continued its strong academic growth. School scores improved on the state MAP assessments as well as the school's NWEA tests. For the second straight year, SCP scholars averaged nearly 2 years worth of growth in Math, Reading, Writing and Science. In the 2014-15 school year, South City Prep had nearly 190 students in grades 5-8.
NEW BUILDING & NEW CLASS
August 2015 marked the start of St. Louis College Prep's 5th year of operation and the beginning of many exciting changes for the school. In line with the vision of creating a network of high performing schools throughout St. Louis, St. Louis College Prep moved into a new building located just east of Lafayette Square to accommodate the growing middle school and the new 9th grade class.
The new building provides larger classrooms, lab space for science, wider hallways, better security, student lockers, a lunch room and a gym. St. Louis College Prep was thrilled to open the doors of its new buildings in order to open doors for more students in educationally underserved neighborhoods. Each subsequent year after the 2015-16 school year, St. Louis College Prep will open one more grade in the high school until all the grades are full. The new building allows St. Louis College Prep ample room to expand in numbers and resources, allowing them to continue carrying out the mission of preparing students to enter, succeed in and graduate from college.
In January of 2016, South City Prep formally changed their name to St. Louis College Prep, marking the start of a new chapter. The change acknowledged the school's reach to well beyond the South City region, to the entirety of St. Louis City and its residents.
Since its inception the school and staff have been devoted to creating a rigorous and challenging academic environment for each of its students, providing them an opportunity to pursue their academic aspirations through college. Students gain up to 1.5 years of academic growth for every year they are in our classrooms.
This level of growth is only possible through the tireless efforts of a staff and board of directors that have created a year-round academic calendar with an extended school day to best serve the students in the community.
The 2016-17 school year, starting on Aug. 22, will mark continued growth at the school as St. Louis College Prep adds a 10th grade, expands support and teaching staff and lays the final groundwork for its planned dual enrollment program.
In 2017-18 St. Louis College Prep plans to have its new 11th graders taking college level classes on area college campuses with the goal of every scholar graduating with a number of college credits and some students achieving their Associates Degree before graduation. This unique approach to dual-enrollment will give St. Louis College Prep scholars valuable experience on college campuses while still having the school's support staff as a safety net, giving the scholars a clear advantage when they continue their college career.