A local teacher has taken a step in molding the school experience and has founded a Brooklyn charter school with a mission to empower children and provide a unique and elite education.
Fort Greene's Joshua Beauregard has founded the Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, a grade six through twelve tuition-free pulic charter school that will open its doors in Bed-Stuy to 128 sixth graders from Community School District 13 in the fall. The school will reach full enrollment in the year 2019, serving 820 students from neighborhoods including Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy and Brooklyn Heights.
Though his dream is on its way to being realized in the near future, Beauregard's goal to open a school has been on his mind for quite some time.
"I began thinking about what the ideal school in my mind would look like in 2005," said Beauregard, who began his teaching career in 2001 as a mathematics teacher at Louis D. Brandeis H.S. in Manhattan. "As founders, we have the autonomy to design a school from scratch that we believe will best serve students and families in Community School District  and beyond."
To propel is thinking, he returned to school to pursue a doctorate in education at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
"Over the past six years, I've been able to advance my ideas, work with a host of terrific schools and educational organizations, and build a strong team of colleagues to design the school that we believe will do good things for kids," he said. "We've been able to gather the ideas and feedback of fellow community members to inform our design and we will continue to do so as we forge ahead."
Beauregard said the school has seven core elements that he believes make Unity both unique and good for kids and their learning. He noted the school's college-prep curriculum in liberal arts and sciences will foster in students the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically and communicate effectively.
The school will also foster a supportive culture that will benefit students who will be "given tools to develop character, are confident in their ability to learn, take responsibility for their own learning, and both support and feel supported by the entirecommunity," he said.
Students will also have a host of co-curricular programs in athletics, performing arts and after-school clubs to invest their time and interests in, he said.
"We are also excited about our innovative teacher career ladder and professional development systems in which we recruit talented educators, provide them with opportunities to develop their craft, and retain them through formal recognition of their expertise, generous compensation, and a manageable yet challenging workload," he continued. "By engaging in the educational experience we envision at Unity, parents can expect for their children to be well equipped with the skills, knowledge, exposures, confidence and drive to thrive in their postsecondary endeavors."
Beauregard said he and his founding team is actively seeking to engage families, community members and local organizations as much as possible to inform and enhance the school and its curricular and co-curricular programs.
"We encourage anyone interested in being involved in the founding of Unity to attend our upcoming open house sessions on March 9 and March 30," he said. "Please also visit our website to join our mailing list to receive updates, like our Facebook Page and feel free to contact us with questions and ideas."
Parents and guardians of graduating fifth grade students are encouraged to complete online or download the school's application and submit via mail. The deadline for both online applications and paper applications is April 8 at 5 p.m. Unity’s admissions lottery will take place on April 15. For more information about how the admissions lottery works, visit Unity Prep's website to read the enrollment policy.