How are traditional schools a poor fit for many teachers?
- Spending so much time with administrative obligations -- at ABPA, administrative tasks are kept to a minimum so that approximately 90% of a learning coach's day is spent directly supporting students and interacting with parents.
- Teaching to the lowest common denominator - at ABPA, the majority of learning is self-paced so instead of lecturing to a group of 20 or more, our learning coaches are assisting an individual or small group of students in mastering a particular challenge.
- Dealing with behavior problems -- at ABPA, we minimize behavior issues in two ways. First, we provide an environment that is well suited to adolescent boys by providing a high degree of variety and autonomy within a well-structured system that includes clearly articulated expectations and a consistently enforced code of conduct. Second, if a boy is not a good fit for ABPA, we will not accept him back the following school year. In very rare and extreme cases (e.g. physical bullying), mid-year removal may be necessary.
- Teaching to the test -- as a general rule, ABPA is a test-free zone. Lots of quizzes are taken to assess understanding, but we do not administer mid-terms, final exams or other high stakes tests. While competing for grades may be a necessary evil in high school in order to enable selective colleges and universities to more easily identify the academic standouts, our intention is to avoid making learning a pass/fail activity. We want our students to experience the joy of learning for learning's sake and when learning is slow or difficult we want our students to challenge themselves to strive and persevere without the threat of a letter of the alphabet other than 'A'.
IS ABPA THE RIGHT FIT?
Would a private middle school education at ABPA be a good fit for my son and our family? Beyond creating an environment that will enable your son to make tremendous strides in reading comprehension, writing, mathematics, and science, we will endeavor to share concepts and philosophies that are rarely presented in middle schools today. While we are not a religious school, each of our boys will be taught the Ten Commandments, the foundation of our legal system. We will regularly recite the Pledge of Allegiance and say a prayer of thanksgiving together before any group meals. Each boy will read and learn about the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and other important writings from our Founding Fathers. Each boy will be given the opportunity to learn important business concepts including basic financial accounting, economics, and finance. We advocate for the virtues of free market capitalism, self-determination, and the rule of law. We encourage each of our boys to become a member of Boy Scouts of America and to take part in scouting activities. If you recoil from the junk science, fuzzy math, and political correctness that is routinely disseminated in many public, private, and religious schools and homeschooling is not a viable option, then ABPA might be the right choice for your family.
Would my son be a good fit for ABPA? If your son has performed at or above the 50th percentile on a standardized test, such as the PARCC, is frequently bored and/or frustrated in his current learning environment, and does not have behavioral or emotional problems or physical disabilities requiring specialized support, then he might be a good fit for ABPA.
If the quotes below resonate with you, ABPA may be the educational option you have been seeking.
Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery. – Benjamin Disraeli
It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights – the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery – hay and a barn for human cattle. – Alexis De Tocquiville
If the only motive was to help people who could not afford education, advocates of government involvement would have simply proposed tuition subsidies. – Milton Friedman
In 1940, teachers were asked what they regarded as the three major problems in American schools. They identified the three major problems as: Littering, noise, and chewing gum. Teachers last year were asked what the three major problems in American schools were, and they defined them as: Rape, assault, and suicide. – William Bennett (1993)
The price of a "free" public education is freedom – Capitalism.org
First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards. – Mark Twain
It should be a system of education in which pupils from toddlers on up through the university take joy in learning, free from fear of grades and gold stars, and in which teachers take joy in their work, free from fear in ranking. It should be a system that recognizes differences between pupils and differences between teachers. - Dr. W. Edwards Deming
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
What is the admissions process? Contact us to schedule an interview so that you can get to know us and we can get to know you. Provide us with standardized test scores that are no more than 1 year old (we accept the SSAT, ISEE and other standardized tests). If needed, we can administer an assessment test. Provide a $500 tuition deposit. This deposit is refundable if your son attends ABPA for at least 10 days.
What is the admissions deadline? There is no admissions deadline. If we have space available, we will accept new students throughout the year. Since most of the learning is self-paced, it is not essential that new students join ABPA at any particular time of the year. Applications can generally be reviewed and decisions communicated in no more than 5 business days.
Is 5th grade the only entry point? New students can join ABPA after completing 4th, 5th grade, 6th grade, or 7th grade. Space permitting, we can also accept students mid-year.
Is ABPA a boarding school? No. ABPA is a day school.
Where is ABPA located? We are located in Union County, New Jersey close to the US Highway 22 and 4 miles west of Garden State Parkway.
How much does it cost to attend? For the school year beginning September, tuition is $600 per month / $5,400 per year for 5th grade, $750 per month / $6,750 per year for 6th grade, $900 per month / $8,100 per year for 7th grade, and $1,000 per month / $9,000 per year for 8th grade starting October 1st. September is a free month. July is an optional month and we are closed August. If a homeschooling family would like to leverage American Boys Prep as a resource on a part-time basis, the rate is $75 per day.
Is financial aid available? No. We believe that a family's financial situation is a private matter and is not our concern so we will never ask to see tax returns or any proof of ability to pay. However, that means we are unable to administer a financial aid program. We provide a 10% discount to active duty and veteran military families and first responders (police, firefighters, ambulance/rescue squad).
What is our financial obligation if we decide at some point that ABPA is not the right fit for our son? If you decide to make a change during the school year, there will be no further financial obligation.
We are not sure if this concept will work for our son. Is there a way we can try it out before committing? Yes. Feel free to try out our family-friendly, self-paced approach to learning for a whole month with no obligation.
We want to homeschool on a part-time basis. Can our son attend ABPA part-time? Yes, space permitting, students can attend at a daily rate of $75 per day.
What days is school open? ABPA is in session Monday through Friday with the following exceptions:
Closed Christmas Eve through New Year's Day
Closed Memorial Day and the Friday before Memorial Day
Closed the week of July 4th
Closed the month of August
Closed Labor Day and the Friday before Labor Day
Closed the week of Thanksgiving