William Wells Brown sees equity as key in new system
To Principal Jay Jones, the Promise Academy at William Wells Brown Elementary presents another chance to even the playing field. “This is a great opportunity to create a more equitable learning experience for our students. They deserve it,” he said. “Equity and social justice should always be priorities for the students we serve. The Promise Academy reflects movement in the right direction.”
Fayette County Public Schools works hard to ensure that every student succeeds. For those at William Wells Brown and Harrison elementaries, the district is taking extra steps to meet that goal through a new initiative called the Promise Academies. The aim is to provide enhanced educational opportunities by extending the school day and adding more days to the school year. This structure will allow FCPS to build in more learning time and give students additional enrichment experiences in art, music, technology, physical education, science, and world languages.
- 2019-20 instructional calendar (grades K-5)
Early Aug. 8, the first day of classes at William Wells Brown for 2019-20, veteran technology teacher Amanda Yates was busy preparing her lab for the first group of students. She recalls varied efforts through the years, having worked there since 2008 when the school opened, and thinks the Promise Academy structure will help mitigate the so-called summer slide.
“I’ve been a homeroom teacher longer than in the computer lab, so I see the regression with the kids over the summer. This new model is meant to help with that because it gives us more time with the kids,” said Yates, who taught third grade last year. Additional opportunities also include a focus on equine studies, which ties in well. “We have such a rich history in the horse industry with (jockeys) Isaac Murphy and Oliver Lewis – all those connections stem from where the school is built,” she noted.
Yates, who formerly taught at Ashland and Johnson elementaries, has found a good fit at William Wells Brown. “I came from a one-parent household and knew the struggles my mom went through, which helps me identify with the kids we serve. There’s so many relationships I’ve formed with families throughout the years,” she said. “It’s in my heart to work here.”