Synergy shares 'secrets' of success

October 10, 2014

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Synergy Academies began more than ten years ago with the clear purpose of closing the achievement gap in South Los Angeles. Today, they are proving that inner city students can perform academically at the highest levels - and they are sharing their secrets for this success.

"We received a lot of interest from fellow educators for our success and they would always ask, 'what is your secret?,'" said Rhonda Deomampo, director of special projects for Synergy Academies.

To meet this request, Synergy created the Trade Secrets Tour. In its fourth year, the Trade Secrets Tour allows those interested to observe classrooms, ask questions, and learn the secrets at Synergy Academies. The tours are offered a total of nine times throughout the school year - three times each at the Synergy elementary, middle, and high schools.

Synergy is guided by a set of core beliefs that they call their Trade Secrets. Simple and succinct, Synergy's Trade Secrets include traditional instructional methods coupled with blended learning. Students are guided by such Trade Secrets as: "Read, read, read;" "Don't be afraid of the Big Bad Word. Big words aren't just for big people;" and "Smile. Make eye contact. Shake hands. Have high expectations."

Synergy leaders point to the most important secret of all - Scholar Lessons that create a unique culture. Lessons like, "eye contact = brain contact" and "don't read to finish; read to understand" provide students a guideline for behavior that boosts academic performance.

Located on the campuses of Los Angeles Unified School District, Synergy is committed to close collaboration with LAUSD and sharing best practices. In fact, Synergy expanded its original mission of eliminating the achievement gap to creating and sharing solutions that eliminate the achievement gap.

"We want our impact to be greater than just the 1,300 students we serve," Deomampo says of the importance of sharing best practices.