FAQ

When do you open?

September 2011

Where will you be located?

This is still the big question. What we are certain about is that we need to be accessible to the whole city, and as we are a school with a specific “focus” we need for our students and staff to have all our cities resources available to them. Thanks to the work of city council, the youth advisory council and Tri-met, students at REAL Prep qualify for a free bus pass so easy and safe access to public transportation is our primary decider.  Please refer to the Location section of our website for information and updates about our site search process.

Is it really free to attend REAL Prep?

Yes! We became a charter school specifically to provide a free alternative to public school students. Students who were previously home or private schooled are also welcome if this program meets their needs.

If I dropped out of school already can I come to REAL?

Yes, as long as you don’t already have a G.E.D. or diploma, and are under the age of 21. REAL Prep may be a good opportunity for you to finish school and receive your high school diploma.

Who funds it?

Charter schools are funded the same way other public schools are. The federal government gives us a set amount per student. We give Portland Public Schools 10% to administrate our charter and the remaining funds go to operations costs for supplies, rent, utilities, salaries, etc. However, this funding is not enough, so we are working to secure a stable funding stream from private partners and other government programs.

Are you a Portland Public School?

Technically charter schools are their own independent school districts, so no. However, PPS is our sponsor, and we have worked collaboratively with them through the various stages of REAL Prep’s design and development. We are excited to be considered one of the “focus options” available to Portland high school students in the new High School Re-Design Plan.

What do I need to do to enroll?

As a public charter school REAL Prep follows the same enrollment schedule as the Portland School district. This means we will begin enrolling students during the first quarter of the year and continue until we fill our 250 spaces for our first year. Enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year begins on March 21st, 2011. Please visit our Enrollment page for details.

What happens if you get more than 250 students?

REAL Prep is mandated to follow the “lottery system” for enrollment. This means that if we get more than our target number, all students, regardless of when they enrolled, are placed in a lottery. Students not selected are put on a wait-list for open spaces as they occur. For more information about our enrollment process and the lottery system, please visit our Enrollment page.

Will you start with just 9th grade?

No, it is our intention to begin with a full 9-12th grade program. In our first year all students will take part in the “How is Sound Transmitted between People” courses and projects. After that, students will be working on the programs specific to their interests and levels.

Do I need to audition to get in?

No. REAL Prep is designed primarily for students who may have had limited opportunities to participate in arts programs, so an audition or portfolio review would be contrary to our mission. However, we encourage all prospective students and families to arrange an informational interview to make sure REAL Prep is the best fit for them.

Can I transfer into REAL Prep once school begins if I don’t like my other school?

Yes, as long as we have open spots space available. Otherwise you can be placed on our waiting list. Transfer students will work with their Artist Developer/Advisor to determine how prior work will be credited.

Can I leave REAL Prep and go to another school?

Of course! We want every student to learn in an environment that best inspires them. REAL Prep does work with a different grading and credit system than most traditional high schools, but our staff will be specifically trained how to “translate” REAL Prep coursework into other school transcript formats.

What about colleges? Will my REAL Prep transcript be acceptable for them?

Students who need a more traditional transcript for college will work with their Artist Developer/Advisor to translate their coursework into that format. However, REAL Prep is designed for students who may likely want to pursue post-secondary education in programs that are also arts and entertainment oriented. Many of these programs look favorably upon small innovative schools and often require a different type of application, such as portfolios or specific problem-solving essays.

Will you help me get into college?

Yes! Our goal is 100% post-secondary acceptance. Students, families and Advisors will work together to make an “Outcome Plan” for each student so that there is a clear plan in place after graduation that reflects individual interests and needs. All students are required to take grant writing or sponsorship packaging coursework in order to graduate. In addition to funding school and community projects, the skills practiced in these courses can help students prepare for school scholarship and admissions competitions.

What about sports?

Our sports program will depend upon our location. Teaching students how to take care of their physical health and mental wellbeing is at the core of our program. REAL Prep offers a movement program that focuses on world dance and martial arts. We would like to have a soccer team and basketball team if we can find a facility that accommodates this. All charter school students in Portland are able to join the athletics department of their neighborhood high school.

Your school day goes from 10:00am-5:00pm. What if I have to get to another school for sports practices or have a job in the afternoon?

The beauty of REAL Prep is that we understand real life situations. You would work with your Advisor to make sure your Personalized Learning Plan is built with these other responsibilities included. Remember at REAL Prep we want to help you earn credits for all the learning experiences you engage in.

Is there a dress code?

Students will be expected to dress appropriately for the work in which they are engaged in. For instance, a student in our Foundations 2 Program - which is mostly a movement program - will need to be in clothes that don’t constrict or fall off, while students working in the Legal and Copyright classes will need to come in more formal wear. REAL Prep provides students with opportunities to try on many different roles. “Dressing the part” is part of that experience.

What if I like punk rock, classical or country music? Will I fit in?

REAL Prep uses Hip Hop as a theme because it is a cultural arts movement that is inclusive of differing viewpoints and interests. Hip Hop artists are great collaborators and enjoy working with other artists to see what can be “re-mixed”. As long as you are open to the possibilities that come from working with others and you enjoy learning about other cultures, then REAL Prep should work for you.

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