FA Newsletter May 2024

What's New at Foundation Academies

SheriaNewsletter

Greetings, 

As we conclude another successful academic year, I am proud of our collective achievements. Thank you for supporting our scholars.

Celebrating the Class of 2024's journey reflects our own growth as a learning community. Starting in 2007 as a small middle school on South Broad Street, we have blossomed alongside our scholars.

Our journey continues. This fall, Foundation Academy will expand to provide an additional 50 scholars with a quality education in Trenton. Over the next two years, we will add seats across all grades and build a new high school campus near FA Collegiate.

This new campus is a promise to our families and a symbol of our commitment to our scholars. By creating safe, beautiful spaces for learning, we are building futures.

I am excited to continue this journey with you and look forward to sharing updates.

In community,

 

 

 

Sheria McRae
CEO Foundation Academies

FA Ranks Among Top NJ Public Schools

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Foundation Academy ranks in the top third of all public schools on the 2023 New Jersey School Performance Report published last month, making up more than half of our pandemic learning loss in just one academic year.

"At Foundation Academy, we are intentional about excellence," said CEO Sheria McRae. "This achievement is not just a number—it's a reflection of our shared vision, determination, and unwavering belief that our scholars can and will achieve.”

Like nearly every school, FA has been challenged by the pandemic, with school performance dropping from the 92nd percentile in 2019 to 30th in 2021-22.

This year, FA soared to the 69th percentile, showed the most improvement among charter schools in Mercer County, and ranks among the most improved charter schools statewide.

 

Learn More About Our Rise

Come Grow With Us!

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Foundation Academy began as a small middle school, tucked away in a borrowed building on South Broad Street, with dreams as big as the hearts of its students. Like our scholars, we have grown.

And our journey — like theirs — is far from over.

This fall, FA is expanding our kindergarten as a first step to providing more Trenton children the quality education they deserve. Next month, Foundation Academy will seek city approval for construction of a new high school campus a few blocks from FA Collegiate.

“Our new high school will be more than a building: it's a symbol of our unwavering commitment to our scholars,’ Mrs. McRae said. “It's about creating spaces where dreams take flight, where passions are ignited, and where every child knows they belong.”

Learn More About FA's Bright Future

Celebrating Scholar Achievements

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Spring is a special time of year for our FAmily as we celebrate another year of scholar achievements!

  • Senior Signing Day will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 7 at FA Collegiate Athletic Center. This is one of our most beloved traditions, when the FA community shows up to cheer as graduating seniors announce their chosen paths to purpose and scholarships are awarded.
  • The Class of 2024 Commencement will be at 5 p.m. Monday June 17 at Trenton Thunder ballpark. (Rain date is 11 a.m. June 18). We are honored to welcome this year’s commencement speaker John Harmon Sr. IOM, the Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ).
  • The Eighth Grade Recommitment Ceremony will be at 6 pm Thursday June 20 at the New Jersey State Museum auditorium. This event cheers all they have accomplished, commemorates their transition to high school, and supports their renewed commitment to and through college.
  • The Move Up Ceremony for fifth grade scholars will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday June 20 in our K-8 gym at 363 W. State Street.
  • Kindergarten Bridge Celebration will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday June 19 in our K-8 gym at 363 W. State Street.

“Achievement is a team sport,” said FA CEO Sheria McRae. “I applaud each scholar for staying focused on their goals — and their families and teachers for empowering them to succeed.”

MS Scholars Step Into Confidence

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Jump - Under - Clap - Back - Under - Under - Clap - Back

That’s the cadence of The FAM – Foundation Academy’s Step Team. And thanks to teacher and coach Ashley Ross, Middle School scholars are learning much more than stomps, claps, and spins.

Click here to see The FAM in action

NHS Goes Beyond Academics

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Every National Honor Society scholar is a focused high-achieving scholar, earning a grade point average of at least 3.6 on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for membership.

But they don’t stop there.

This year, NHS members are working with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen to distribute about 100 meals every week to members of the FA community. NHS members also opened a Resource Room with items such as fidget toys, food, school supplies, and clothes (business wear) for scholars to take whenever they need.

“We want to think about the long-term,” said NHS President Jedidah Worrell, a senior who has been accepted at Princeton University. “We are establishing a strong foundation – and a legacy.”

Read More About NHS Scholars

From FA Collegiate to Pro Football

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William "Bill" Hackett, a Class of 2018 graduate, came to FA as a fifth-grader who loved playing Pop Warner football, and continued at FA Collegiate, where he played for the Trenton Central High School Tornadoes.

Earlier this month, his professional career began as a defensive back for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the CFL West Division champions.“Hard Work is what I do – that’s the main thing people know about me,” Hackett said.

“That vision you have in your head– it can’t just be a vision. Keep it in your head and your heart. Continue to work hard no matter the adversity.”

 

Follow Bill's Journey

Community Champions

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Foundation Academy is a learning community rooted in shared beliefs and values that L.A.S.T. – Love, Accountability, Support, and Trust.

We recently honored Nurse Kenya Sample-Jones as a Community Champion for devoting extra time to recognize a scholar’s ongoing illness was cause for concern and helping the FAmily find the healthcare their scholar needed.

Nurse Kenya likely saved that scholar's life, Mrs. McRae said. "The work we do here is important. The extra mile she went is very much appreciated and will have

a long-lasting effect."

We also cheered our FA OGs who have been members of our learning community for more than a decade — including some who have been here since doors opened in 2007 —inspiring our scholars and establishing a legacy of excellence.

 

Get Inspired by Their Stories

Teaming Up with Community Partners

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Shout out to Jon Bodnar, member of the Friends of Foundation Academies Leadership Council and general manager of the Trenton Thunder, for helping establish a unique partnership between Foundation Academy and our home team.

Since 2021, FA has celebrated commencement at the ballpark –  with our seniors’ smiling faces up on the jumbotron, creating lifelong happy memories. Boomer, and his friends, cheer our scholars every year at our 100 Man Welcome. And Thunder execs come to FA Collegiate to personally interview scholars for jobs with their organization.

Now, with Jon’s support, FA will be hosting FAmily back-to-school events at the ballpark, inviting guests for special events at the popular venue, and showcasing what FA has to offer with high-visibility advertising throughout the stadium.

Watch Our Press Conference with Trenton Thunder

Support the 2024 Knight Fund

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Foundation Academy equips our scholars to excel in learning
and empowers them to lead lives of purpose.

Don't let college expenses block their path.  

Donate by June 30 to double your impact with a matching gift!

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Michelle Ruess