James V. Shuls, Ph.D.
Soon, more than just homegrown produce will be available in the Soulard area. Next year, a homegrown charter school is slated to open downtown: Lafayette Preparatory Academy.

The school received final approval at the October Missouri Board of Education Meeting and school leaders are planning for the opening. The head of the school, Susan Marino, stopped by the Show-Me Institute to tell me a bit about this new school.

Marino has worked in the education field for many years and lives in downtown Saint Louis. She came into contact with a group of parents in her neighborhood who were concerned about the availability of quality educational options in their area. So they banded together, drafted Marino to lead the efforts, and started sowing the seeds for a new charter school.

The school will focus on the core academic areas and will have a lengthened school day. Marino notes that the school will “have at least 2 ½ hours dedicated to literacy . . . [and] an hour every day for science and an hour for math.”

Marino hesitates to define the school; rather, she wants the students' needs to shape how the school operates.

“We are committed to being responsive to our students and allowing our teachers to really build around the needs of the students,” Marino said.

Read more about Lafayette Preparatory Academy on the Show-Me Institute's website.

About the Author

James Shuls
James Shuls

James V. Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.