Equity & Inclusion
Fort Greene Preparatory Academy was founded on the principles of inclusion and equity and that has shown up in how we develop and adapt curriculum. We believe that the oral tradition and storytelling process is central to building community, creating empathy, fostering connection and collaboration, and empowering our children to become confident in using their voice. The storytelling process is built into our vertical humanities curriculum in partnership with the Strike Anywhere Theater Ensemble and the Irondale Theater Ensemble. Our process has helped our children to unpack current events, stay connected throughout the pandemic, and provide a forum for courageously speaking our truth. We are proud of the incredible work all our scholars do every year with their oral storytelling and with their written narratives, including celebrating student winners in the Young Writers USA Contest, annually.
Fort Greene Preparatory Academy has over the years dedicated its service to historically underrepresented communities. FPGA has not always been racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. This article details the New York phenomenon. Our students make tremendous personal growth once they are with us, and we are committed to closing the opportunity gap which will, in turn, close the achievement gap. The timeline for growth significant enough to make up past years is unforgivingly short, especially for students who learn in culturally homogeneous settings. Test data tells only one of the truths. Scholars at FPGA are making amazing growth. All our learners are not the same and ensuring that we meet every scholar where they are and take them to where they want to go is our mission. Our full inclusion model, our inquiry-based curriculum centered on developing independent learners, our pathways in language and elective studies, and our French Dual Language Program’s implementation here is a monumental step in that direction. This is social justice in action.
Our school-based equity team helps our mission to live in our everyday practices. Students are expected to make mistakes because that is where true learning lives. When our scholars make a mistake that breaches our community, we use restorative practices to mend broken trust. The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. Our students are encouraged to engage in courageous conversation around misunderstandings, disagreements, and conflict, until they can see the other’s perspective. We believe that harmony is gained through walking in another’s shoes. Through these discourses we collaborate on how the harm that was caused will be repaired. This process holds all members of the community accountable to their decisions, and call them to action to build a true collaborative community where everyone is seen, heard and valued.