Sacramento's St. HOPE Public School 7 (PS7) Named Charter School of the Year

February 29, 2012

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Vicky Waters, CCSA
(415) 505-7575

SACRAMENTO, California (Feb. 29, 2012).--Today, the St. HOPE Public School 7, better known as PS7, received the Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year at the 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference, which is being held this week at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Focused on college preparedness, PS7 is a K-8 charter in the heart of Oak Park. Since opening its doors in 2003, PS7 has been named a California Distinguished School, twice received the Title I Academic Achievement Award, and was the only school in Sacramento County nominated for a National Blue Ribbon School in 2010. In addition, PS7 was ranked the 8th highest-performing charter in California by the USC School Performance Dashboard.

The majority of the student body, 81%, is African American, and over 75% of the students are eligible for the Free and Reduced-Priced Lunch program. The achievement gap between African American students and their White and Asian peers in Sacramento's traditional public schools is significant, yet St. HOPE is turning the tide.

"The results that PS7 is producing are nothing short of amazing. They are preparing students for the challenges of the future by focusing on individual needs, and giving them a high-quality education that many would otherwise not be able to get," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA.

"We offer a rigorous academic program that allows us to focus on high expectations, quality teaching, and commitment. We represent a choice for students to get them on the track to college, and be successful in their lives and their future," said Kristen Coates, principal at PS7.

PS7's focus on college preparedness starts at an early age, with students' graduation year from college being put in every classroom door. In addition, students begin visiting college campuses annually, filling out practice college applications. Their academic performance has increased substantially since its founding, particularly in recent years. The school's Academic Performance Index (API) score is currently 911, and the proficiency rates in both English and Math are well above the average of surrounding public schools in Sacramento County.

PS7's efforts and success were also featured in CCSA's "Chartering and Choice as an Achievement Gap-Closing Reform: The Success of California Charter Schools in Promoting African American Achievement," a report which shows that, overall, charter schools in California are effectively accelerating the performance of African American public school students, and are earning higher API scores and proficiency rates statewide, in many urban districts and across all subjects when compared with traditional public schools.

"PS7 is a school that literally produces almost perfect results," said Gladys Mitchell, founding parent of PS7. "If your kid shows up, studies hard, and follows what the teachers are saying, they are guaranteed to be successful, and what parent doesn't want that for their child."

Past Hart Vision School of the Year recipients include Dr. Olga Mohan High School in Los Angeles and KIPP Bridge Charter School in Oakland (2011); Renaissance Arts Academy in Los Angeles and Life Learning Academy in San Francisco (2010); and Our Community School in Los Angeles and Oakland Charter Academy in Oakland (2009).

The Hart Vision Awards were established in 1995 in honor of Gary K. Hart, retired California State Senator and former California Secretary of Education. While serving as state senator, Hart sponsored the legislation that established California charter schools. The goals of the Hart Vision Awards are to recognize and honor annually individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education.

The California Charters Schools Association has hosted the Charter Schools Conference for 19 years, offering resources, guidance, and advocacy support to a membership that has grown exponentially.

The California Charter Schools Conference will officially run from Monday, February 27 to Thursday, March 1, 2012. View a detailed schedule of other sessions or events.

This year's Conference theme is "You are the Charter School Movement."

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association is the membership and professional organization serving 982 charter public schools and more than 412,000 students in the state of California. The Vision of the California Charter Schools Association is to usher in a new era in public education so all students attend independent, innovative, accountable schools of choice. The Mission of the California Charter Schools Association is to influence the legislative and policy environments, leverage collective advocacy, and provide resources to support our members in developing and operating high quality, charter schools reflective of California's student population. For more information, please visit

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