About Us: History
Prestige Academy was created to offer a tuition-free, public middle school opportunity to students in Wilmington and surrounding Delaware communities. In order to address the severe academic under performance and low college matriculation rates of boys from these communities, the school offers a highly rigorous, high school and college-preparatory and career readiness curriculum supported by a structured school culture. We opened our doors to 103 fifth graders in 2008. We expanded one grade per year and currently serve approximately 300 boys in grades six through eight.
"Education is a pre-condition to survival in America today."
Why All Boys?
The astounding number of young men of color who are lost each year to senseless violence, imprisonment, and substandard employment appears to increase with each year gone by. This simply does not have to be. Excuses can be made, and ideas can be debated, yet a quality education continues to be a young man's best chance for a real future. In 2001 The Schott Foundation for Public Education commissioned research on the education gender gap to update data on the progress of girls. In the process, they discovered that k-12 female students were making significant progress and that males were performing less well. The facts that were most shocking revealed alarming data on Black male students showing under-achievement on every school-related factor. This is a matter that can no longer go unaddressed.
Education attainment continues to be an indicator of future life success. Prestige Academy exists to provide a unique single gender educational model in the middle school years for some of Delaware's most under served and underestimated students. Numerous studies have demonstrated that girls and boys in single-sex schools are academically more successful and ambitious than their co-educational counterparts. It is only recently that research and greater examination of the underachievement of boys has become prevalent and more specifically, demonstrates the benefit of single-sex education for students of color. Many schools report improved test scores, better attendance, or improved behavior among students in single-gender settings. Research indicates that the performance of African-American and Hispanic students in single-sex schools is strongest on all tests, with scores, on average, almost one academic year above that of their peers in coeducational settings.
In November 2007, there were at least 366 public schools in the United States offering gender-separate educational opportunities according to reports. However, 88 of these 366 schools were completely single-sex.