Frequently Asked Questions Concerning CEG Schools - Cornerstone Prep & Lester Prep


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What is the mission of Capstone Education Group?

What type of schools does CEG lead?

What does the admissions process include?

What is the educational philosophy of CEG?

How will success be measured?

Where will students go after they graduate?

What type of partnerships does CEG need?

How will we create future leaders?


What is the mission of Capstone Education Group?

Capstone Education Group equips all students with the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and to become leaders in their community.

What type of schools does CEG lead?

CEG leads free, college preparatory, public neighborhood schools primarily for low-income families located in the Binghampton and Frayser communities but with 25% of seats available for other students who fit the eligibility requirements.

What does the admissions process include?

Any students zoned for CEG schools have guaranteed spots in the school. Other students must apply and meet eligibility requirements.

What is the educational philosophy of CEG?

There are four key components to the educational philosophy of CEG:
  1. Academic rigor. Academic rigor includes an extended school day, heavy focus on reading, writing and language arts resulting in 500 hours more per year than the typical SCS students, math problem solving, highly-structured and disciplined classrooms and a fast-paced learning environment.
  2. Character education. CEG schools emphasize character critical to academic success and a life of leading, defined as preparation, respect, engagement, resilience, responsibility, optimism, courage and kindness.
  3. College preparation. The road to college success for children in Memphis consists primarily of two facets: expectation and preparation. CEG equips every student with the Wisdom and Knowledge necessary to succeed in college, while at the same time, casting a vision that every child should expect college success to be attainable for them.
  4. Leadership development. CEG equips and challenges scholars to provide leadership in multiple facets of life after graduating from college. These facets of life include the student’s family, career, community, character and world.

How will success be measured?

CEG’s mission means students should be equipped with the Wisdom and Knowledge necessary to succeed in college and become leaders in their community when they leave CEG. Every part of the academic and socioemotional program points toward that goal. Success, therefore, depends on attaining that goal.

CEG measures growth towards and attainment of that goal. For example, the academic program includes growth goals set for every single CEG scholar, regardless of their current academic level.  Therefore, a student who comes to CEG three grade levels behind has an individual growth goal set for him to close that gap over time. CEG measures progress towards that goal through weekly Show What you Know Assessments, 9-week interim assessments, mid-year and year-end MAP assessments, DRA and AR reading tests and for grades 3-8, year-end TN Ready results.

CEG also measures the number of students who are on track for college, which is best indicated by being on grade level. Every CEG scholar takes a baseline and year-end assessment designed to measure how many scholars are at grade level at year-end, the ultimate measure of college readiness.

CEG measures Wisdom, or character, through several qualitative and quantitative measures. For example, each week scholars who display Wisdom through exemplary display of that week’s character trait and recognized for that achievement. Teachers give out merits based on student choices made throughout the day, leading to rewards, celebrations and parties for growing in Wisdom. CEG desires for all scholars to be people of great character and measures the success and growth week over week.

Where will students go after they graduate?

Cornerstone Prep – Lester and Lester Prep are located less than one mile from SCS’ new T-STEM optional high school program located in the East High School building. As noted in The Commercial Appeal: “For the first time, an all-optional high school is being established in Memphis under Shelby County Schools’ competitive academic program geared toward students with unique interests and aptitudes. East High School, open since 1948 and one of the city’s most iconic schools, is officially on the list of optional programs being promoted this month as the district prepares to receive applications beginning on Jan. 27. Starting with the incoming freshman class, the school will shift this fall to a “T-STEM” program focusing on transportation, science, technology, engineering, and math. The transportation aspect is unique and seeks to prepare workers to feed the growing transportation and logistics industries in Memphis, home to distribution powerhouse FedEx and several trucking companies.”

Cornerstone Prep – Lester and Denver graduates matriculate to Lester Prep. Therefore, CEG believes this new program creates an ideal pathway for all Frayser and Binghampton students to have an opportunity to attend a world-class high school.

What type of partnerships does CEG need?

Cornerstone Prep needs supporters in each of the three following areas:

  1. Financial support. Because most students come from low-income families, the school needs to raise substantial revenue to provide such a high-level education. Capstone Education Group, Inc is a separate 501c3 organization and therefore donations are tax-deductible. Drew Sippel, the executive director of CEG, can be reached at 901.416.9569 for more information on how to support the school.
  2. Recruiting families. All interested families should contact Angie Cramer at 901.416.3640
  3. Volunteer support. CEG wants every student to have people who walk along beside them
    as they begin this long road to academic achievement and a life of leadership. If you would
    like to volunteer with the school, teachers or students, please contact Drew Sippel, executive
    director of Cornerstone Prep, at 901.416.9569 or via email.

How will we create future leaders?

The future of the Binghampton and Frayser communities, Memphis, and cities around the country depend of schools that create educated leaders with strong character and high moral values. CEG schools create those kinds of future leaders.

CEG students are equipped and challenged each day to grow in their ability to lead. This leadership focus prepares students not only to be leaders in their school but to become life-changing leaders in their community after leaving school. There are five core areas for which students receive leadership principles and practice:

  1. Family
  2. Career
  3. Community
  4. Character
  5. The World