Setting The PACE: Making Sure All Scholars Thrive In The Classroom

Democracy Prep is committed to delivering an equitable education and meeting the needs of all of our scholars. In many ways, that means incorporating different teaching styles to ensure that we are educating all scholars in the way that they learn best. This is why our PACE program is incredibly important to scholars and families. This program offers a specialized education for high school students who require a 15:1 student to teacher ratio, as stated in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). For many students with IEPs who struggle to learn in a traditional classroom setting, our PACE program is an example of how we make sure that all of our scholars succeed and thrive.

Kayla Brock is thrilled to be a full-time PACE teacher this upcoming school year! A bona fide science enthusiast with interests across many disciplines, she’s teaching biology, chemistry, and environmental science for the 2021-2022 academic year. But she didn’t get to this point overnight — Kayla actually began her career at Democracy Prep as a Teaching Resident last school year.

Kayla didn’t expect to be a PACE teacher when she first joined the teaching profession but found that it was the right fit for her. 

“I came in as a teaching resident thinking that I was going to teach general education history,  but I fell in love with teaching science to a small group of 15 students,” she said.

She describes the PACE program to be “a program in which students who need small group instruction receive that instruction in the way that they need it. We are also very intentional about our specialized curriculum for students in our PACE program. For example, our biology course is taught over a two-year period so that the curriculum is scaffolded and differentiated. This is to make sure the curriculum fits the needs of our scholars.”

Kayla believes that the greatest advantage of being a PACE teacher is the strong relationships that instructors build with their scholars. 

“If you’re someone who likes to work with small groups and work with the same people consistently, PACE is definitely the right fit for you. In general education, you often teach one class for one year and the chance to teach the same scholars again is rare. PACE offers teachers an opportunity to see through a scholar’s education for all four years of high school. You will teach them at least one class and you may also be their case manager, so the bond you create with students is very powerful.”

There are immense academic benefits of the PACE program, but we also value the social benefits this program brings to our scholars and staff.

“I get to see my kids every day,” said Kayla. “It’s one big happy family. They feel connected and always make the environment as open and friendly as possible. When they’re together, they are open with each other and with you as a teacher, and this is due to the consistency of us all being a part of the same group.”

As always, Democracy Prep is an evolving organization that continues to find innovative ways to ensure that scholars receive the exceptional education that they deserve. The PACE program is one of the ways we are meeting the needs of our scholars, providing the appropriate supports, and strengthening the relationships between scholars and teachers, all of which are crucial to making sure that all scholars succeed.

The 2021-2022 school year is here and we’re looking for a talented team of PACE teachers to support our scholars! Join Democracy Prep as a PACE teacher and apply here today!

Stay In Touch