A-School Profile: DSST Public Schools

In this Q & A, Andy Mendrop of DSST Public Schools describes the charter management network, which runs many of the state’s top middle and high schools.

Describe your school’s mission and illustrate it with an example from the classroom.

DSST GraduatesDSST’s mission is to transform urban public education by eliminating educational inequity and preparing all students for success in college and the 21st century. We have a focus on being ready for college throughout our curriculum from 6th through 12th grade. Our students are required to pass rigorous courses, like pre-calculus, before graduating from DSST. They also participate in both an internship, which gives them an eye into the working world, and a senior project which asks them to research and write an extended paper on a topic before presenting it to a panel of adult DSST community members.

What are one or two ways that the team at your school meets students’ academic needs?

Our team uses ed. tech tools to assess and determine how each of our students are doing on specific skills. This helps our entire staff to determine what type of help each of our students need. Teachers work with specific students both during and outside of class to help them understand any skills they may have missed to help ensure that they continue to be successful and on track in their class.

Name one or two characteristics, programs, or other detail about your school that makes it a special place.

DSSTAll DSST schools focus on creating a culture of support for students to help them be successful at school. Every morning our students meet in a small group of roughly 15 students that meet with a teacher. This gives our students and parents a solid connection to our schools.

After our students meet their advisories they go to Morning Meeting. Morning Meeting is a time when our entire student body and all of our staff meet in one room as a community. The content of the meetings focus on our six core values, colleges and creating a strong community so that everyone can achieve their goals.

Our schools also focus on helping students to realize their academic potential through our one-to-one laptop ratio and educational technology.

What’s the most frequently asked question from parents visiting the school – and how do you respond to it?

DSSTWe are often asked “with your focus on Science and Technology do you also offer art classes, sports and extra-curricular classes?” Our response is simple: yes! We believe that a well-rounded education is important in order to have a successful academic career and a fulfilling life. Our schools offer sports, art classes and a host of after school clubs.

Where can parents go to learn more?