"To whom much is given, much is required."
It is with great honor and gratitude that I have the opportunity to lead, direct and support the students, parents, and staff of Palmetto Youth Academy (PYA) in carrying out the school's mission.
The mission of PYA is based on the fact that students learn at different rates and through different learning styles. Some students need more time to complete assignments or extra help and some students need to move faster and engage in more challenging activities than the average student.
We realize that some students are successful, or reach their full potential in all areas, in the traditional public school setting; however, some students do not reach their full potential in that setting. Meaning, there is a large group of students who are forced to stay in an educational setting that is not meeting their individual needs. As a result, this dilemma has contributed to one of the many achievement gaps.
We believe the achievement gap between socioeconomic groups exists because although parents know their child is not thriving in their educational setting they cannot afford to send their child to a private school or pay for challenging extra-curricular activities. Whereas parents who can afford to pay tuition to a private school that meets the individual needs of their child are more likely to do so.
In an effort to meet the individual needs of these students and to close the achievement gap between socioeconomic groups, PYA developed a program that has the educational qualities of an elite private school but operates as a public school that is open to the public and does not charge tuition. This simply means that parents now have a choice. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for all students, regardless of income or ability, to reach their full potential academically, behaviorally, and socially.
The students, parents, and staff of PYA work very hard to carry out the mission. Every member of the team contributes in some way to the success of the school. Some contributions are as small as providing transportation for their child to get to and from school and some contributions are as great as initiating a school project.
At PYA, we realize that students, parents, and staff have different strengths in different areas. One of the secrets to our success is that we identify individual strengths and combine them as a team to work on the individual weakness. This is the strategy that allows each student, parent, and staff of PYA to be successful.
Although this assignment requires a lot of hard work and the challenges are great. The progress of our students and the success of our school have been even greater and this makes it all worth it because, " To whom much is given, much is required."
Yvonne Brown-Burgess, Director