This August Kendall will welcome 60 new members to its community — sixth grade students. That’s because the SEED School of Miami, Florida’s first college prep, public boarding school, will open its doors for the fall school season, and is now accepting applications for admission.
From Sunday evening through Friday afternoon, students live and learn on a campus that includes separate boys and girl dormitories, a health suite, and playing fields. During the day they’re immersed in a rigorous academic program, while evenings are spent learning valuable life skills, such as financial literacy and conflict resolution. The campus — which will break ground this spring — will be located initially at the Kendall Cottages Complex, 11025 SW 84 St., and the school will welcome students across Miami-Dade County.
You may recognize the name SEED from 60 Minutes, The New York Times, and the documentary film Waiting for Superman. The SEED School of Washington, DC — SEED’s first school — has received considerable attention for its impressive graduation and college enrollment rates: 90 and 91 percent, respectively — which far surpass the rates for SEED students’ low-income, firstgeneration college peers.
SEED is a unique concept that started with the opening of its DC school in 1998, which was and remains animated by a core belief that all children have the ability to succeed in high school and college with the right opportunities and supports. Ten years later, SEED took this approach to Baltimore, with the opening of the statewide SEED School of Maryland. Both schools serve children who can most benefit from the “gift of time” that comes with a 24-hour approach and college- bound culture. Both schools offer AP classes, travel opportunities, and hands-on college advising.
And the price tag for families? Free.
“If we give children great exposure opportunities, whether that’s going to a museum, or traveling to Greece, or seeing a college campus, that becomes part of their world, and that’s something they can imagine,” said Eric Adler, SEED co-founder.
The addition of SEED Miami to the spectrum of school offerings in the area is significant.
“I am thrilled that SEED is coming to our community because its work means a total commitment to students,” said David Lawrence, president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation. “Children grow in different ways. They clearly grow cognitively and physically, but they also grow socially, emotionally, behaviorally, developmentally. And SEED’s about all the parts of growth and an understanding that all components are necessary to build adults who are complete human beings.”
The program’s commitment to students extends beyond graduation, and this laser focus on college success works. A SEED graduate is three times more likely to graduate from college than a child with a similar background.
“With SEED, we have this wonderful college transition program,” shared Janelle Allen, a 2010 SEED DC graduate. “Every step of the way they have helped me. This year I thought I would have to take out loans, but my advisor found a scholarship for me.”
Allen and all SEED graduates are assigned a college success advisor as part of SEED’s College Transition and Success (CTS) team. CTS works with SEED students throughout their middle and high school careers, offering services and programs specifically designed to support college persistence and success, such as college matching, college transition support, and financial aid assistance.
“We’re excited to welcome South Florida students and families to SEED and to provide them with an outstanding educational program that prepares them to be successful in high school, college, and beyond,” said Kara Locke, SEED Miami’s head of school, who previously served for seven years as principal of SEED DC. “Our goal is college success for every child and we know from experience that when one family member goes to college, others are likely to follow.”
Locke and other SEED Miami representatives have been meeting with families and community leaders throughout South Florida to talk about the school and distribute application forms. SEED Miami is committed to recruiting students and faculty who reflect the diversity of South Florida.
To submit a student admissions application, parents and guardians may visit www.miami.seedschool.org or call Luna Otero, director of admissions, at 305-600- 1367. Rising sixth grade students who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply. Individuals interested in career opportunities may email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.