Rochester Prep's academic program emphasizes two academic disciplines above all others: English and math.
Every 5th and 6th grade student at Rochester Prep will benefit from two English classes every day, one focusing on reading comprehension and literature, the other on mechanics and writing. And since skills are not enough without a passion for reading, students will also participate in twice weekly book clubs led by a faculty member. Rochester Prep's academic program will double the time a typical student spends studying English to 13.5 hours per week or more than 525 hours in the course of the academic year.
Every student at Rochester Prep will also benefit from two hours of math every day, one addressing procedures and the other problem-solving. The result will be roughly 10 hours a week of math instruction - enough to ensure that Rochester Prep students are prepared for colleges and careers that emphasize quantitative skills.
Because we believe in the importance of diligent and rigorous study, Rochester Prep offers an extended school day and an extended school year. The school day goes from 7:40am until 4:20pm. The school year runs 195 days, plus summer work as necessary.
At Rochester Prep, we think great teachers make great schools, and we invest heavily in teachers as a result. Professional development at Rochester Prep means shared, faculty-wide collective inquiry (discussing lesson plans, watching videotape, examining student work) every Wednesday. Before the school year begins, teachers participate in a two-week training program and receive extensive instruction in standards driven instruction, classroom management techniques, and curriculum design. Rather than just hoping that every teacher succeeds, Rochester Prep provides the tools and training to ensure it.
Rochester Prep employs a teacher-tutor model to increase the quality of academic support. All core academic teachers teach three, rather than the traditional four, sections of students. The fourth "class" is a daily tutoring block during which teachers work with students pulled from their own classes to reinforce and re-teach key skills. This increases the effectiveness of tutoring and ensures that students most in need of extra help are tutored by the most qualified teachers in the school. The design of this teacher-tutor model is typical of Rochester Prep's relentless focus on more effective implementation of its learning philosophy.