Prospect Fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Prospect Fellows

Prospect Fellows is a new initiative established by Prospect Hill Academy Charter School (PHA) to further the school’s capacity to provide targeted academic interventions to PHA’s most struggling students, offer engaging extracurricular activities to all students, increase the faculty’s time spent on the core functions of teaching and learning, and diversify our teaching staff by recruiting diverse college graduates, including a critical mass of PHA alumni, who reflect the demographics of the PHA student and family community. Prospect Fellows will employ 12-18 recent college graduates in grades 2-6 in 2013-14 and up to 35 distributed across three campuses K-12 in 2014-15 and beyond.

What difference will Prospect Fellows make? 

The program is designed to:
  • Provide additional capacity to ensure that struggling students receive targeted tutoring to close indentified skill gaps. This will allow students to better access the class curriculum and perform at grade level while the teachers can focus on the whole class rather than concentrate disproportionally on a few struggling students. 
  • Engage and inspire students with innovative out-of-school-time enrichment courses designed to accommodate a range of learning styles. By tapping into individual interests and fostering interpersonal connections, Prospect Fellows will promote a love of learning, help to build confidence, and teach transferrable skills and habits to PHA students.
  • Support our faculty by providing relief from extra teaching responsibilities such as arrival and dismissal duties or substitute teaching and allowing classroom teachers to focus on the core processes of teaching and learning, planning, assessment, and collaboration. 
  • Contribute to the educator pipeline and diversify PHA’s teacher population, with a focus on hiring PHA alumni who reflect the backgrounds of our student population and can model college success. 

Why Prospect Fellows and how do we know it will work?

Prospect Hill Academy has identified three key priorities stemming from its 2012-2017 strategic plan: early literacy skill deficits, college persistence and completion, and faculty retention. Upon exploring high-impact tutoring programs at City on a Hill Charter School, the MATCH School, and Phoenix Charter Academy as well as its own Upper School APEX tutoring program, the Fellows program is designed to apply proven success factors to the unique needs of the PHA community. 

Who benefits? 

While the program primarily targets low performing students, it is designed to benefit the entire PHA community:
  • Low- performing students: close skill gaps and perform at grade level through tutoring; instill a love of learning through enrichment 
  • Average and high- performing students: more attention from classroom teachers who can now better differentiate instruction; increased exposure to a variety of interests through enrichment 
  • Faculty: greater support in the classroom; additional capacity for academic interventions with individuals and small groups of students; relief from additional duties resulting in increased time for planning, assessment, and collaboration
  • Families: increased capacity for individual student-based communication

What’s in it for the Fellows? 

The Fellows will be recent college graduates, with the goal of at least 25% being PHA alumni. Some Fellows will join to perform a year of service in the community that has served them, gain real life work experience, and position themselves for future job opportunities. Others will join because they want to pursue careers in education.  Prospect Hill Academy is currently in negotiation with three universities to establish a partnership that will lead to a Master’s degree and educator licensure.  The Fellows who indicate a desire to become teachers will serve with the general cohort in year 1, enroll in a Master’s program, act as Lead Fellows, and conduct a formal student teaching practicum in year 2, and, provided that their skills align with open positions, be hired as full-time teachers at PHA in year 3.

How much does Prospect Fellows cost? 

The Prospect Fellows program will cost $600,000 in its first year and $1,100,000 in subsequent years. Fellows will earn $18,000 and Lead Fellows $21,000 per year. PHA alumni will receive a $3,000 signing bonus in their first year.

The school will allocate $300,000 of its operating budget, stemming from (a) funds previously set aside for outside tutoring contracts; and (b) less conservative projections of PHA’s annual per-pupil revenue, to the program, and the remainder will be raised through grants and fundraising.  No current programs will be eliminated due to the budget reallocation.

How can I contribute to the Prospect Fellows program?

You may make a donation online here. Or, you may send a check to:

Prospect Hill Academy Charter School Foundation
Attn: Anja Bresler
50 Essex Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

Why Prospect Fellows Matter: An Example

"Andre” is a struggling reader in 3rd grade which makes it hard for him to do word problems in math and science. The teacher tries to support him, but with 22 students in the class, finds it hard to give him the personalized attention he needs. Andre is confused and becomes disengaged and disruptive. Now the focus is on managing Andre’s behavior.

In partnership with a Prospect Fellow, Andre receives individualized in-class support so he can understand the lessons and engage in class.  He participates in after-school tutoring to advance his reading skills to grade level. And Andre takes enrichment courses tailored to his learning style and innate interests and curiosities.

As a result, Andre reengages in school, has fewer disciplinary issues, and allows his teacher to focus on the whole class.

Most importantly, Andre’s prospects for high school graduation and earning a college degree have just increased exponentially!