New girls school set to open in fall, awarded $350,000 launch grant


Solar Preparatory School for Girls announced it is the recipient of a $350,000 grant awarded by NewSchools Invent, a philanthropic support arm of NewSchools Venture Fund. A total of 11 organizations won planning grants to develop innovative school models, and four organizations, including Solar Prep, received contributions to open new schools.

Solar Prep’s model will focus on three priorities: research-based instruction in a socioeconomically diverse model; hands-on, performance-based STEAM learning; and social/emotional learning to build self-awareness, empathy, positive mindsets and emotional intelligence for increased academic achievement.

Last year, Solar Prep received a $100,000 planning grant from NewSchools Venture Fund that provided a mix of management assistance and funding. After refining the framework for the school, Solar Prep was selected to receive the additional grant this year.

Led by Principal Nancy Bernardino, the campus will open in August to nearly 200 female scholars in grades K-2 and will add one grade level, each year through eighth-grade.

“We are so excited to be a part of the NewSchools Invent cohort,” Bernardino said. “This is an incredible opportunity to improve education for girls in Dallas, no matter their background or academic level.”

The Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees approved the addition of Solar Prep, during the 2014-2015 school year, as part of an effort to increase the Public School Choice initiative.

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