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College Park Academy to Hold Open House on December 7

When: Thursday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: 5751 Rivertech Court, Riverdale Park, MD

College Park Academy is a top-performing public charter middle and high school, founded by UMD and the City of College Park. It provides personalized learning and a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum, including UMD courses in high school.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are available until January 26, 2018. And, starting with incoming 6th graders in Fall of 2018, students living in the boundaries of these six area elementary schools will comprise at least 35 percent of the students admitted: Berwyn Heights, Cherokee Lane, Hollywood, Paint Branch, Riverdale, University Park.

Please join CPA for an open house to learn more about the school!

College Park Academy to Start Accepting Applications Next Week

College Park Academy is a top-performing public charter middle and high school, partnered with the University of Maryland. It provides high quality, personalized learning and a rigorous, college prep curriculum, preparing students for the top universities in the country.

Since its launch in 2013, CPA students have earned among the highest state test scores in Maryland – and it is now accepting applications from our community.

If you are interested in applying or would like more information, please click here. Open houses will be held at CPA on November 9 and December 7.

Starting with incoming 6th graders in Fall of 2018, students living in the boundaries of these six area elementary schools will be admitted to College Park Academy:

  • Berwyn Heights
  • Cherokee Lane
  • Hollywood
  • Paint Branch
  • Riverdale
  • University Park
    Please note: Families living elsewhere in Prince George’s County can also apply, but local children (detailed above) have preference up to 35 percent of the new enrollments.

For more information about College Park Academy, please CLICK HERE. Applications for the 2018-2019 academic year will be open starting November 1, 2017.

This is a great development for our community – and with CPA in its new, permanent home in the University of Maryland’s Discovery District, there are real benefits for parents living close by.

[Source: District 21 Delegation Announcement]

College Park Academy to get Contract Renewal, Catchment Area for City Students

Last week, the County Board of Education voted to extend its contract with the College Park Academy for an additional five year period.

The school, which has heavy University of Maryland support, will open its newly constructed school in August. The new school is located just off River Road, southeast of the College Park Metro Station.

Beginning in 2018 the school will, for the first time, have a local catchment area for 35% of incoming students, typically numbering about 100-120 a year. The local catchment area will be for students who would attend the following elementary schools: Berwyn Heights, Hollywood, Paint Branch, University Park, Riverdale and Cherokee Lane.

Currently students from these six schools comprise almost 15 percent of the Academy. The Academy opened in fall 2013 on Adelphi Road at the old St. Mark’s school.

Thanks to former Council member Robert Catlin, for sharing this information.

College Park Academy Success Story

The College Park Academy students are doing a lot better than average students at the Prince George’s County Public Schools, according to Pearson Education.

During its first year, College Park Academy’s scores exceeded those of PGCPS on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA). On the reading test, the percentage of 6th- and 7th-grade students scoring proficient or advanced was 95 percent and 93 percent, respectively, compared to 78 percent and 71.5 percent for PGCPS. On the mathematics test, the 6th- and 7th-grade CPA results were 76.3 percent and 79.5 percent, respectively, compared to 56.8 percent and 47.8 percent for PGCPS.

Please read the complete story here


UMD President Dr. Loh Appointed as the new Chair of College Park Academy

Wallace D. Loh

Wallace D. Loh

At a meeting of the CPA board last week, Senator Jim Rosapepe announced his decision to step down as board chair and Dr. Loh was voted the new chair of the
CPA board.

The meeting was attended by Mayor Fellows and Dr. Segun Eubanks, the chair of the PGCPS board.

Senator Rosapepe has been instrumental with his vision, energy, and leadership in conceiving CPA and making it a reality. Together with the existing board, and with the support of the City Council and PGCPS, he has been instrumental in the success of CPA in its first two years. He will continue serving on the board.

The CPA board voted to expand its membership as authorized by its bylaws. The new members include UMD faculty and staff who are deeply committed to public education and to the hybrid learning model of CPA. Several of the new members live in College Park. They are or have worked as principal of an elementary and/or high school, as member of the General Assembly, as a board chair of a school district, and as deans of UMD’s colleges. One is a parent of a CPA student.

Frank Brewer, the interim executive director of CPA, announced his re-retirement.

As a result, Dr. Loh thinks UMD will now be even more actively engaged in the operation of CPA and in its continuing success. Many parents of CPA students have inquired about, and sought, such increased involvement.

You can find more about this news here on the Washington Post.

College Park Academy Scores Big Among Local Schools

College Park Academy

College Park Academy

Great news. According to the Baltimore Sun,  the College Park Academy has scored incredible MSA scores!! As you can see from the chart below, the College Park Academy scored higher than almost all Prince Georges’s County schools, the Montgomery County Average, and the MD State average.

Ortiz Brewster, the school’s Principal said “I think that we should call the Gazette and the headline should read, “C+P+A Equals a Successful First School Year.”
Categories6th Math6th Reading7th Math7th Reading
CPA Average76.2594.9679.4892.95
All MD Schools67.883.263.178.79
Montgomery County Average768774.885
CPA’s Rank in PGCPS12th5th4th5th

Council to Vote on Funding Model to Buy Proposed College Park Academy Site

At tonight’s meeting, College Park City Council will vote on a preferred financing model to buy AlHuda property at Edgewood Road as the future home of the College Park Academy.

For the past several weeks, the College Park Academy (CPA) has been conducting feasibility studies to purchase the Al-Huda property with the goal of possible relocation from its current location in Hyattsville.

According to the College Park Academy expects (based on preliminary designs) that the total cost of the acquisition and renovations of the AI Huda School site will be $10 million. This includes the $5.75m asking price and about $4 million in rehabilitation and renovation. The original renovation estimates are higher, but probably can be reduced; the purchase price could be lower as well.

The school estimates that it is able to cover payments on a $10 million 30-year loan at 3% (approximately $500,000 in annual payments). The borrowing terms on $10 million would probably be for 20 years with an interest rate of about 4%. These terms bring the annual payment to $740,000.

There are several models the Academy is considering to determine who will own the AlHuda property, who will lend the required purchase amount and who will become the guarantor of the loan.

Model 1: City is purchaser, UMD (University of Maryland) is the lender The city purchases the AI Huda property with the University as the lender. The loan is, ideally, at the terms that the school has budgeted (30 years, 3%). The City then leases the property to the school, and the school’s lease payment covers the cost of the loan. In this scenario, the City acquires both the asset and the liability of the property.

Model 2: CPA is purchaser, uses a private lender, and the City and UMD are guarantors CPA purchases the school and borrows the $10 million for the acquisition and renovations privately. The City guarantees the loan payment for the number of years the lender requires (probably more than 5 years but less than 30 years) in order for the school to get the terms it needs to make this option feasible. UM provides a back-up guarantee in order to enable CPA to obtain better terms. If CPA uses a private lender, New Market Tax Credits may be worth exploring and would help to reduce the costs of the loan.

Model 3: CPA purchaser, UMD lender, city guarantor CPA purchases the school and makes the renovations, with the University as its lender ($10 million) and the City as the guarantor of the loan. The guarantee could be structured to give the city a certain amount of time to make good on its guarantee if the school were to shut down.

The City currently has long-term debt for the construction of the parking garage ($7.65 million). According to our City staff familiar with financial terms, borrowing $10 million for the CPA could affect negatively on City’s financial health.

The City staff has recommended that the City will take on less risk with option #3, and the Council will consider (without taking a position yet on the actual site of the Academy) endorsing that option, with the condition that if the Academy closes and is not able to pay, the City would take title to the property and the lender would defer debt service on the loan for a reasonable time period until the City has the opportunity to sell the property to another owner.

Additional steps, such as a Memorandum of Understanding between the Academy and the City, will be necessary if the City and the Academy decide to go this route.

CPA, City Propose Measures to Address Traffic Concerns

Council member Wojahn and I sent the following email to the neighbors addressing traffic concerns that might result from the proposed move to the Al-Huda school site.

Thanks to those of you who were able to participate in the recent meeting regarding potential solutions to the traffic issues that might result from the College Park Academy relocating to the current Al-Huda site at 53rd Ave. and Edgewood. We have been working with the College Park Academy leadership to come up with a series of proposals to address the volume of traffic and traffic congestion that has occurred at this site and may continue to occur if the Academy relocates there.

This is a preliminary list of proposals that the Academy is willing to do in order to reduce the traffic congestion problem. The first three actions listed will decrease the quantity of vehicles using Edgewood Rd. to access the school. The last four will decrease congestion by spreading traffic out and helping ensure that the traffic moves more smoothly. The proposals are as follows:

1. Support and encourage the Academy’s busing program as it exists today. Currently, about 15-20% of the Academy students use the busing program now, and they are hoping to increase that amount to 25%;

2. Implement a carpooling program, and promote it through the Academy website, including the possibility of using the website to connect potential carpoolers;

3. Promote the use of public transportation and use of the Greenbelt Metro site. Explore improving the path from Greenbelt to the school;

4. Stagger opening times for the middle school and high school; and

5. Continue early morning programs and after-school programs to reduce the number of cars traveling during peak times;

6. Pro-actively manage the interface between the students and the vehicles in the mornings and afternoons so as to improve through-put of the vehicles; and

7. If any back-up on Edgewood still occurs after all the above steps have been taken, re-route the cars once they are on the school site so as to absorb any back-up on Edgewood.

The Academy leadership believes that these seven steps will improve the situation. If necessary, however, the School Board is open to taking further steps to address any congestion that remains after these steps are taken. The City will also seriously consider options presented in the 2006 Krouse Committee report to address traffic congestion on Edgewood Road before the school moves to the new site. Such options might include providing additional parking options on Edgewood Road between 52nd Place and 53rd Ave. or re configuring the traffic patterns in the area.

For proposals that require additional resources, however, the City and the Academy leadership will have to work together to find ways to fund them.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Fazlul and Patrick

Town Hall Meeting on College Park Academy, Tonight at 7pm

Council member Wojahn and I are organizing a town hall meeting tonight at 7pm, at Davis Hall to discuss the possible relocation of College Park Academy to the current AlHuda school site. Please see below for details.

Town Hall Meeting, Jan 13, 2014

Town Hall Meeting, Jan 13, 2014

College Park Academy’s Search for its New Home Comes to North College Park

The current Alhuda school in north College Park may soon be the new home College Park Academy

The current Alhuda school in north College Park may soon be the new home of the College Park Academy

The Middle to High charter school College Park Academy is considering to locate to north College Park as part of its search for a new location inside College Park.

The Academy opened last year but had to locate in St. Mark’s Church in Adelphi, Hyattsville.

The Academy has been looking into a number of locations inside College Park. They include Old Friends Community school on Calvert Road, Terrapin Traders on Paint Branch Avenue and very recently the Al-Huda school in north College Park.

The AlHuda school has been for sale for several months after it decided to move to a new 66-acre location in Cookesville, Howard county.

The Academy will be free to all Prince George’s County students. There may possibly be some guaranteed seats for the College Park students. The school is a joint initiative of the City of College Park, the University of Maryland, the County and the State of Maryland.

College Park Academy aims to be in the list of  top 25 College preparatory schools in the entire country. Qualified students will be able to earn college credits while in high school, including up to 60 college credits, with up to 25 University of Maryland credits. IGCSE accounting tutors for 0452 can be found here, many more classes can be found, like writing,  math and even Spanish. Looking for bilingual tutors that can communicate effectively in both English and Chinese? This is especially useful as most children speak English at home and it aids their ability to understand Chinese when they can switch between languages to get a better context for the syllabus, you may click this O-level Chinese tuition post here for more valuable details.

With the complete build-out, the Academy is expected to have 700 students. The Al-Huda School currently has about 650 students.

Members of the North College Park Civic Association (NCPCA) discussed academy’s proposed move to Al-Huda school at its December meeting. The Academy board member, former Council member Bob Catlin updated the residents about the latest development about Academy’s search.

The local residents generally expressed strong interest in the acquisition proposal of Al-Huda school. The north College Park has a good elementary school (Hollywood Elementary), however because of the lack of a quality middle and high school, many families leave the neighborhood after their children come out of Hollywood. A quality middle and high school will help keep these families stay inside the city.

Due to the fact that the school is located inside a residential neighborhood (please see the map below), traffic is a major concern for residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the school. The Academy may consider multiple ways to mitigate those concerns. They include having a shuttle bus service to transport students from a staging area to the school, car pooling and encouraging students to take Greenbelt Metro, which is located only a few minutes walking distance from the school. There have been discussion to improve Edgewood road, which is fairly narrow at the entrance of the school.

College Park, MD 20740

The Academy has made a few visits to the AlHuda school recently and will meet again with the residents next month.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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