Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Cornerstone Prep


Do You Have a Question? 

We hope we have an answer!  Click on the question you are interested in and see if we can answer it right now.  If you still have questions, contact Drew Sippel via e-mail.

What is the vision of Cornerstone Prep?

What type of school is Cornerstone Prep?

What does the admissions process include?

What is the educational philosophy of Cornerstone Prep?

How will success be measured?

Where will students go after they graduate from this elementary school?

What type of partnerships does Cornerstone Prep need?

How will we create future leaders?


What is the vision of Cornerstone Prep?

Cornerstone Prep equips all students with the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and to become leaders in their community.

What type of school is Cornerstone Prep?

Cornerstone Prep is a free public school primarily for low-income families and located in the Binghampton community.  Cornerstone Prep is part of The Achievement School District.

What does the admissions process include?

Any student zoned for the Lester Elementary will be eligible to attend for the 2015-2016 school year.

What is the educational philosophy of Cornerstone Prep?

There are four key components to the educational philosophy of Cornerstone Prep:
  1. Academic rigor Academic rigor includes an extended school day and school year, heavy focus on reading, writing and language arts resulting in 500 hours more per year than the typical MCS students, math problem solving, highly-structured and disciplined classrooms and a fast-paced learning environment
  2. Character education Primary principles that will be emphasized as critical to academic success and life are integrity, respect, courage, self-control, humility, personal responsibility and excellence.
  3. College preparation The road to college success for children in Memphis consists primarily of two facets: expectation and preparation. Every Cornerstone Prep student is expected to go to college. This expectation is communicated to students from the very first day they enter the school. In addition, all curriculum and assessment decisions are based on preparing students for college.
  4. Leadership development Cornerstone Prep students are equipped and challenged 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. There are common characteristics necessary to provide leadership in these five areas that are emphasized at Cornerstone Prep. Those characteristics are built into the planning and programming of the school.

How will success be measured?

Cornerstone Prep will synthesize standards from the TerraNova national aptitude test to ensure that students are competitive on the national level. Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery or competency in subjects (defined by a grade of 85 percent or higher) on Criterion Referenced Tests (teacher-made and/or pre-packaged assessments, as appropriate) in one-week and nine-week assessments. After graduating from the school, Cornerstone Prep expects students to perform well ahead of grade level in all subjects. By eighth grade, students will have all the academic skills necessary to succeed at demanding middle and high schools. Similar measurements for character education and leadership development are available upon request.

Where will students go after they graduate?

Students who graduate from the eighth grade at Cornerstone Prep will be equipped to enter any high school in the city.

What type of partnerships does Cornerstone Prep need?

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

  1. Financial support Because most students will come from low-income families, the school needs to raise substantial revenue to provide such a high-level education. Cornerstone Prep is a separate 501c3 organization and therefore donations are tax-deductible. Drew Sippel, the executive director of Cornerstone Prep, can be reached at 901.261-4363 for more information on how to support the school.
  2. Recruiting families All interested families should contact Jacque Rowe Fields, director of community and family relations, at 901-261-4384.
  3. Volunteer support Cornerstone Prep 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 901.261-4363 or via email.

How will we create future leaders?

The future of the Binghampton community, Memphis, and cities around the country depend of schools that create educated leaders with strong character and high moral values. Cornerstone Prep will create those kinds of future leaders.

Cornerstone Prep 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