In December of 2010, two graduates of and a former trustee from the University of San Diego (USD) began discussing potential solutions to socio-economic issues plaguing inner cities. This group, composed of a CPA, an attorney, and a philanthropist, were inspired by the over 80% college entrance rate of an all-scholarship private school for inner-city children that two of the three founded back in 2001. In addition to conducting extensive research of high performing urban schools across the country, they sought the expert local opinion of a college dean, a retired school district superintendent and a career inner-city teacher about what they thought were aspects of successful urban schools.
All agreed that establishing a new virtues-based educational model, a charter school whose design was a composite of the best practices of nationally acclaimed inner-city schools, and preparing students marginalized by socio-economic, geographic and familial circumstance to be successful and resilient, were the best strategies to counter the overwhelming street pressures facing today’s urban children. An initial steering committee became a formal board, and they incorporated on March 10, 2011. Subsequent to securing a few planning gifts, this group opened Epiphany Prep Charter School in southeast San Diego for grades K-7 on September 4, 2013. It added a grade 8 in 2014. Though we closed the San Diego school in May 2018, we believe we made a positive impact for years to come!
Epiphany Prep has experienced significantly higher than average academic growth as compared to other inner-city schools, despite the standard operational challenges of a school in its first two years and the special needs and demographic variables of its urban student population. For example, 80% of students assessed upon enrolling in its inaugural year were two or more grade levels below in Math and Reading achievement. These challenges and variables were overcome through strong board advisory and administrative leadership as well as best instructional practices employed by staff. Epiphany Prep’s founding group is now committed to replicating this unique and successful model.
In fall of 2016, our second campus opened in the community of Escondido. By the fall of 2018, beginning year 3, we will see the enrollment increase to 625 Transitional Kindergartners to Seventh grade. We expect to add our Eighth grade in the 2019-2020 school year.
The mission of Epiphany Prep Charter School is to deliver entrepreneurial and innovative education opportunities that transform the learning potential of marginalized students by strengthening the whole child: intellect, character, and spirit.
With a model that sends more than 80% of urban children on to college, Epiphany Prep is a K-8 public charter school committed to transforming inner-city education to prepare students for college, career and life.
Epiphany Prep recognizes the skills students need as 21st century learners, such as digital literacy, technological skills, and collaboration and communication strategies. But it takes more to transform learners into true leaders. Our philosophy is unique because of the way in which we deliver proven educational best practices through our 4 pillars, which are the research-based design and operating principles inspiring our decisions about learning and teaching.