Endeavor Schools Expands Atlanta Presence with Two New Parker-Chase Preschools

Endeavor Schools is proud to announce new additions to its growing network of schools. The education management company has acquired two former Kids ‘R’ Kids franchises in East Roswell and East Cobb, Georgia. Both schools have been renamed as Parker-Chase Preschools, one of Endeavor’s most distinguished brands. The change will take effect immediately and both schools will continue operating without interruption for the children and families they serve.

The acquisition demonstrates Endeavor Schools’ commitment to the Atlanta region. With the addition of the new Parker-Chase schools, Endeavor Schools now owns and operates nine schools in the Atlanta metropolitan area with plans to expand further.

The talented, tenured, and dedicated teaching staff at these schools built solid reputations in their communities for providing high-quality early childhood education. As Parker-Chase Preschools, both schools will continue that legacy. They will also remain accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), one of the most respected early childhood education accreditors in the nation due to its high standards for education and safety.

“The Parker-Chase educational philosophy and focus on outdoor and STEM learning is a perfect match for these new locations and aligns with their existing approach,” said Endeavor Schools Chief Operations Officer, Danielle Millman. “Children respond well to an educational style that is structured around them so that their individual talents can flourish. This is why Parker-Chase has been so successful and families in East Cobb and East Roswell will continue to find this a truly positive educational experience.”

Parker-Chase Preschools was originally founded in 1981 in Carrollton, Texas. In 1985, it became one of the first schools to be accredited by NAEYC. Endeavor Schools acquired Parker-Chase Preschools in 2016, adding it to the company’s long list of reputable schools that excel in providing high-quality early childhood education to their communities.

The new Parker-Chase locations will offer innovative programs for infants through kindergarteners with an after-school program for school age students as well. They will also continue operating with the same staff members who have made such a strong connection with families in the community.

“Maintaining these community bonds is at the core of what makes our schools special,” said Endeavor Schools CEO Ricardo Campo. “We are looking forward to continuing these relationships and creating new ones with our Parker-Chase schools.”

This year promises to be a big one for Endeavor Schools as the company is in negotiations to acquire several more schools across the country. By investing in teachers and school facilities, Endeavor Schools is bringing its consistently high standards of education to more children and families.

“Communities need high-quality schools they can depend on,” Campo said. “We strive to provide consistency, reliability, and superior quality to many more families in the coming year.”

Yale Study Shows School Safety Efforts Can Protect School Employees from COVID-19

At the beginning of the pandemic, Endeavor Schools consulted with top experts to implement a comprehensive safety plan to protect our staff and students. A strong safety plan protects school communities and a Yale University study published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics has now provided evidence.

The study, which took place from May 22 to June 8, and surveyed 57,335 childcare workers at the preschool age and below, found that there was no elevated risk of infection to these workers when preventative measures are implemented.

Data was included from all 50 states across the country, with the most data coming from California, Florida, and Ohio – three states where we operate several schools.

“This is the first large-scale study of COVID-19 transmission in childcare programs. The study utilized a large sample of U.S. childcare providers, and results were robust to different analytic approaches and to various tests of exposure interaction effects,” the study’s authors wrote. “Overall, we found no evidence of childcare being a significant contributor to COVID-19 transmission to adults. This finding is consistent with previous studies showing a lack of association between school closures and transmission rates.

According to the study, a major reason why there was no increased exposure is the high level of safety procedures in many schools, which include the following steps:

  • symptom screening upon entrance
  • smaller class sizes
  • social distancing
  • frequent handwashing
  • sanitation of touched objects and surfaces throughout the day

At Endeavor Schools, our safety plan has included all these mitigation efforts and much more. In addition to these protocols, we have professional janitorial services periodically perform enhanced cleaning in our classrooms and outdoor areas and we have also upgraded the air ventilation systems in several of our facilities. We have also implemented stricter limitations on who can enter our schools, limiting entrance only to students and staff.

It is heartening to see a study by a reputable institution like Yale University show that a strong safety plan can protect school workers, especially in the early childhood education field, where children need close supervision. And given that our safety efforts exceed the norm, it only encourages us to continue doing better to protect the health of our staff and students.

Endeavor Schools Launches Learning Labs to Provide an On-Campus Option for Elementary Students in Remote Learning Programs

With the uncertainty surrounding school openings this fall, families need stability and safety so their children can continue their education. For this reason, Endeavor Schools, a top education management and private school company, has created its new Learning Labs Program, which gives elementary students enrolled in remote learning programs an on-campus experience.

Through the Learning Labs Program, elementary students can focus on their work, socialize with peers, and receive teacher assistance throughout the day. They also enjoy the other benefits of being at school, including safe playgrounds for outdoor exercise, healthy food options for lunch, and much more. To keep students safe, Endeavor Schools has enacted a strict safety plan that was developed in coordination with the CDC and Johns Hopkins University.

These qualities are vital components of a well-rounded education, especially for young children. Endeavor Schools designed its Learning Labs to ensure remote learning students have all the educational opportunities they would have during in-person schooling.

“We want to ensure that children have an opportunity to enjoy a positive educational experience this fall,” said Endeavor Schools CEO, Ricardo Campo. “Our Learning Labs Program emphasizes our longstanding commitment to high-quality education while helping families restore normalcy to their lives.”

Experienced, Talented Educators

With more than 50 schools across the country and deep experience in teaching elementary school-age students, Endeavor’s Learning Labs provide a high-quality education program led by a talented team of educators, support staff and seasoned school leaders.

In addition to its talented instructors, high-quality learning materials, and beautiful campuses with a wide array of amenities, Endeavor Schools is also offering STEAM projects and other enrichment opportunities to students enrolled in its Learning Labs.

The combination of an on-campus experience and extracurricular activities make the Endeavor Schools Learning Labs a fantastic alternative for displaced students this fall.

Proven Safety Protocols

The Endeavor Schools Learning Labs will emphasize the school experience while maintaining maximum safety standards. The company’s safety plan has been implemented into each one of the company’s schools across the country. By exceeding safety standards recommended by federal and state governments, Endeavor Schools has the proven ability to protect its students and staff members.

Staff members have been thoroughly trained in the new safety procedures and have been practicing them for several months. Endeavor Schools never closed during the pandemic so that it could provide childcare and education to children of essential workers. The experience gained over the past several months has enabled the staff to gain valuable experience in safety measures, such as maintaining social distance in the classroom and sanitation practices necessary to reduce risk of viral transmission. The Endeavor Schools teaching staff has expertly adapted to the stringent but necessary conditions that are required in schools today.

“We realized early on that essential workers would be counting on us to help them with their childcare needs under new safety guidelines and our teachers stepped up to the task,” said Danielle Millman, the Chief Operations Officer at Endeavor Schools. “That experience has given our staff the ability to provide education to more students under the current circumstances and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our communities.”

The Endeavor Schools Learning Labs Program began operations earlier this month at several of the company’s schools in Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas. In September, the program will be offered at schools in Nevada, Oregon, and California, and potentially other markets.

For more information on this program, please visit: https://www.endeavorschools.com/learning-lab-programs/

Using Outdoor Learning to Maintain a Montessori Environment and Safe Classroom

With our new safety practices to ensure the health and well-being of our staff and students, maintaining a nurturing Montessori environment has created new challenges for our Montessori guides. But these new challenges have given way to new opportunities, such as embracing outdoor learning.

Kinderhouse Montessori in San Diego, CA is one of several Montessori schools in the Endeavor Schools family that has increased use of its outdoor spaces to utilize the natural fresh air and sunshine. Although Endeavor Schools has high-quality HVAC systems in each of its schools, the use of outdoor spaces can make it easier to do activities that enable social distancing. In addition, Kinderhouse’s Jing Zhu says her children experience a calming and stabilizing effect, which can be conducive for concentration and learning.

“The outdoor environment provides children with more natural and milder stimulation in a way the children probably won’t be over or under-stimulated,” Zhu said. “Children just love to be outside. Most of my toddlers are exhilarated when it is the time to be out.”

Outdoor learning is not a novel idea when it comes to a Montessori setting. In fact, Dr. Maria Montessori advocated for outdoor learning during the course of her research.

In The Discovery of the Child, Montessori wrote: “Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.”

Dr. Amy Brereton, the Vice President of Academics at Endeavor Schools, said outdoor learning activities have been implemented throughout the Endeavor Schools network.

“We promote guided explorations in the natural world whenever possible,” Brereton said. “These explorations may be aimed at learning specific science content, such as plant and animal biology, geology, habitats, astronomy, physics, etc. Also, explorations could have more to do with geography (cartography, terrain, hydrology etc.) or sociology (animal social behaviors, outdoor occupations, community planning etc.).

Tinkering outdoors to learn STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) is another way Endeavor Schools utilizes the outdoors for learning.

“Tinkering involves providing children with a variety of loose part materials that they can use to build endless creations,” Brereton said. “Children have used planks and tubes to make ramps and pathways for balls or trucks (physics, engineering); cardboard or boards to make buildings (engineering, math); ropes, tarps and poles to make tents (engineering, math); and a variety of materials to craft simple machines (technology, math, engineering).”

She adds: “Most children do not consider their creations to be complete until they have taken the time to decorate them (art). These types of projects are well suited for the outdoors because the open space makes large scale creation possible.”

There are also the many benefits of unstructured outdoor activity outdoors, which gives children a chance to rest their minds and process all the material they have been soaking up in school and life.

“While schools across the country are choosing to shorten or eliminate recess, we are choosing to offer children more unstructured time outdoors,” Brereton said. “When children’s brains are working hard to master content, they need breaks. These breaks offer the brain time to file information.”

Pedagogists have done a great deal of research on the benefits of recess. These include increased focus; fewer behavioral issues; improved cognitive function; increased social and emotional growth; and improved physical health, such as stronger immune systems.

“A strong Montessori program supports children’s unstructured engagement with the outdoor environment in the form of recess or ‘brain breaks,’” Brereton said. “The younger the child, the more often they need such breaks.”

Recess is vital for the mental, as well as physical health, in a Montessori setting, according to Lee Lanou, the Director of Montessori Education at Endeavor Schools.

“Dr. Montessori knew, and research confirms, that movement is essential for the growth of a child’s intelligence,” Lanou said. “Movement in nature not only strengthens their muscles but also aids in the development of auditory discrimination, visual cues for depth perception, balance, coordination, agility, and it offers a rich variety of sensory stimuli for the young child’s absorbent mind.”

And most importantly, children experience more joy and happiness throughout the day then they have time outdoors.

When describing her children learning outside on a recent beautiful San Diego day at Kinderhouse Montessori, Zhu said: “Their faces are just glowing, their eyes are shining, and I feel like we are in love with the playground and each other.”

From Student at Cambridge University to VP for Academics at Endeavor Schools, Dr. Amy Brereton Has Championed Working Mothers for Years

This year, St. Edmund’s College, one of Cambridge University’s 31 colleges, celebrated its 50th year of admitting women by honoring 50 St. Edmund’s women who have studied or taught at the college. One of those women is Dr. Amy Brereton, the Vice President for Academics at Endeavor Schools, who was recognized for her research exploring young children’s perspectives of school, how they evaluate their own progress as learners, and her work to improve support networks for working mothers at the university.

Dr. Brereton’s connections to Cambridge run deep. After graduating from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, she matriculated to Cambridge University in 2001 for graduate study in Educational Research, obtaining both an MPhil and a PhD. In addition to her studies, she was a Woman’s Officer at the university and promoted support networks and programs for female students balancing motherhood and scholarship.

‘Working mothers have the drive’

Dr. Brereton experienced what it was like to be a working mother at Cambridge University herself when she returned in 2010 for post-doctoral research and was five months pregnant with twins. Working on a research project with Dr. Lani Florian, a world class scholar who developed the concept of inclusive pedagogy, a method of teaching that promotes inclusivity to heighten academic achievement of all children in a learning community, Dr. Brereton had a simple list of priorities.

“Deliver babies, keep babies alive and collect data,” Brereton said.

But the simplicity was deceptive because the physical toll was great. Once her twins were born, it was not easy to care for two new babies while working on a demanding research project that required collecting data at preschools in England and Scotland, in addition to conducting literature reviews at the University Library. The physical toll caused Dr. Brereton to question whether she would be able to complete the academic work she traveled all the way to Britain to conduct. Sitting in Dr. Florian’s home, Dr. Brereton admitted her self-doubts.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” she said. “I’m only sleeping two to four hours a night. How am I ever going to give you the quality of work I want to give you?”

“The question is: ‘Do you want to do the work?’” the professor asked.

“Yes,” Brereton replied.

“Then I think you will find a way because I have found that working mothers have the drive and stamina to deliver excellent results,” Dr. Florian said.

At that point, it had only been 40 years since Cambridge University allowed women. But Dr. Florian pointed to the numerous examples of women who simultaneously succeeded in scholarship and motherhood. It was difficult, but they persevered and paved the way for future women.

“Many women in history gave up a lot, so that you wouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other,” Dr. Florian said.

Looking back, Dr. Brereton said that moment in Dr. Florian’s home made a lasting impact.

“I realized I had a choice,” Dr. Brereton said. “With the right support, I could choose to work if I wanted to.”

Finding Balance at Endeavor Schools

After becoming a mother, Dr. Brereton became more efficient with her time.

“Prior to having children, I was able to work 12 hours straight and think about nothing but work, which I thought was a positive thing because long hours meant hard work,” she said. “The way I think about work now, as a mother, makes me work smarter.”

Brereton added: “I don’t work for the long spans of time like I used to, but I work smarter, which has made my work better. I’m more focused because I know that if I waste any time during work hours, it will come out of my family time later.”

Endeavor Schools manages 50 schools across the country, including approximately 1,500 teachers and teaching assistants. As the Vice President for Academics at Endeavor Schools, Brereton oversees the curricula for each of its schools. Managing a demanding career while raising a family can be challenging, but Dr. Brereton said Endeavor Schools has a company culture that supports working mothers.

A Supportive Work Environment for Women and Working Mothers

When Dr. Brereton was a Woman’s Officer at Cambridge University, she worked hard to build and expand programs that improve student quality of life for women. Knowing how important that work was left an impression on her, which is one reason she is proud of the work culture that Endeavor Schools has created.

Approximately 95 percent of Endeavor Schools’ employees are women and the company puts great effort into supporting women in the workplace, such as offering competitive pay, development programs and opportunities for advancement.

Danielle Millman, the Chief Operations Officer at Endeavor Schools, said the work of women should always be held in high esteem and compensated accordingly, especially in the education field.

“When it comes to early childhood education, women are the driving force.” Millman said. “We acknowledge the importance of women and hold them up as professionals and experts in education. We invest in our educators and want to ensure they are well cared for, compensated, continually developed, and given plenty of opportunities for advancement.”

In addition to having a 95 percent women workforce, 98 percent of leadership positions at individual schools, including Regional Directors, School Leaders and Assistant School Leaders, are held by women.

With her experiences as a Women’s Officer and working mother at Cambridge University shaping her outlook on workplace situations for women, Dr. Brereton said she couldn’t be prouder to work at Endeavor Schools.

“Endeavor Schools was founded in 2012 and already has a strong track record of equity in pay and leadership,” she said. “This company is solid proof that equity can be accomplished if the success of women is a priority. And at Endeavor Schools, women are a priority.”