Support and Volunteering
Join Lafayette Prep in Providing a Quality Education for our Children and a Quality Future for our City
Lafayette Prep was started by young parents, community leaders and educators dedicated to providing a high quality education for families Downtown and the residential neighborhoods on the Near Southside. Lafayette Prep’s founders, with a view that long-term success was better than short-term financial ease, decided to start small (K-2), grow slowly (1 grade per year) and forgo partnering with a well-capitalized for-profit educational management organization. Because of this decision Lafayette Prep can grow organically, serve a targeted geographic area and be responsive to the needs of its students, families, and community.
Lafayette Prep’s founders saw that their community consisted of two distinct populations. The first are often referred to as the “at-risk” population, who have historically received inadequate public education and have never had the resources to consider moving to areas with better schooling or pay for private education. The second consists of young, middle- to upper-middle class families who have recently regained an interest in living in the urban core but refuse to stay without good schooling. If Downtown and the Near Southside is going to thrive, both populations must be provided with a great education. In doing just that, Lafayette Preparatory Academy honors people from all spectrums and unites them under a common purpose. Lafayette Prep believes strongly that together we can build something that would be unattainable by any one group by itself. And our students will reflect that vision. Not only will they be inclusively reflective of our world, together our students will become harbingers of positive change.
The desirability/livability of most communities in the St. Louis region is defined by one primary thing –the public schools that serve its families. Communities know this and therefore invest vast amounts of resources into making their public schools better. A small, new, grassroots-started public charter school like Lafayette Prep needs community investment even more because:
Lafayette Prep’s seed funding opened the doors but will not sustain growth
Lafayette Prep was fortunate to receive two large start-up grants prior to opening in 2013: $250,000 from the Walton Family Foundation and $125,000 from the U.S. Department of Education. Lafayette Prep also received donations from generous Founding Supporters (businesses, individuals and families) who had the foresight to invest in a school that had yet to open. Without these start-up grants and donations, Lafayette Preparatory Academy could not have opened. The final funds from the grants and donations will be spent by the end of 2013.
Lafayette Prep’s government funding does not cover all its expenses
Lafayette Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school whose funding comes primarily from state and federal funding – approximately $8,000 per student. The reality for charter schools is that state and federal funds do not cover the entire amount necessary to provide the quality of education our students and families deserve. Lafayette Prep must spend approximately $11,000 per student to do things like raise staff salaries to market rate; hire adequate support staff to fully implement key components of our educational philosopy; increase teacher support, planning time and professional development; provide additional hands-on science learning opportunities; add arts and foreign language programming; implement a local, organic food program; increase afterschool and extra-curricular activities; and many more things.
Lafayette Prep needs community partners to close the $3,000 per student funding gap
At its core, Lafayette Prep is a school started by the community for the community and as such we know that we can rely on our community - individuals, organizations and businesses to partner with us to close the funding gap. Please invest in your community and join us in providing a quality education for our children and a quality future for our city by becoming one of our community partners! Please complete a Community Partner Enrollement Form or contact us about setting up a time to visit, see what our students are leaning and discuss how you can partner with us.
Lafayette Preparatory Academy is designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as tax-exempt as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and, as such, contributions to Lafayette Prep are tax-deductible.