Categories: PR Newswire

Pembroke Academy Garners Recognition for Delivering on Commitment to Student Success

Award-winning Detroit School Excels Using Placement and Parental Partnership

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Schools have unique personalities, created in large part by the community they serve. One Detroit-area school, Pembroke Academy, has carved out its niche for placing student achievement and parental partnership at the top of its list of goals and educators there are receiving accolades for their success.

A recent award by the state of Michigan helps tell the tale. The school, part of the National Heritage Academies (NHA) network, was recently honored with Reward School status, a designation given to schools who rank in the top 5 percent in the state for achievement, improvement, or meeting the parameters of “beating the odds,” as defined by the state.

Ready to enroll your student? National Heritage Academies operates 101 schools in nine states. Use our school finder to locate one near you: NHA School Finder.

Pembroke Academy received the award for earning the highest grade in growth and performance among its peers. It’s the second-consecutive year they’ve earned the award.

“We were overjoyed when we heard the news,” Principal Salwa Kinsey said. “This designation recognizes the efforts by students, staff, and parents and shows the dedication to education by all. Pembroke Academy is such an important part of this community, the work that’s done here will impact generations of learners.”

Pembroke Academy, which opened in 2018, was created to offer Detroit students an innovative educational opportunity. Instead of traditional age-based grade placement, Pembroke assigns students according to reading and math proficiency. New students take the Northwest Evaluation Assessment (NWEA) to properly determine grade-level placement. This allows the school to pinpoint academic strengths and deficiencies for each student.

Students at grade-level proficiency in reading are placed in the age-appropriate grade, while students more than one level below grade-level proficiency are placed in the grade best reflecting their instructional level in reading. Students are not placed more than two years below their age-appropriate grade level.

“We use multiple assessments during the school year to understand content mastery,” Kinsey said. “This ensures teachers know each student’s learning level throughout the school year and are providing instruction to close achievement gaps. The teachers are empowered to use that data to help drive their instruction.”

Teachers pair that knowledge with parental partnership, a key for learning success at Pembroke, and it starts with a special ceremony.

“A strong partnership between educators and parents is essential for the students’ overall success,” she said. “This concept is demonstrated through a symbolic wedding ceremony conducted at the beginning of the school year, where both teachers and parents pledge their commitment through an exchange of vows to work together in the best interests of the students.”

The vows focus on attributes pivotal to any successful marriage.

“We highlight the importance of trusting one another, partnering for the benefit of our students, communicating frequently and honestly, along with a strong, ongoing commitment to this entire process.”

This unique and innovative approach was received well as everyone walked away with a wedding band as a keepsake from the special event.

In addition to Reward School status, Pembroke Academy earned an “A” letter grade in growth and performance among its peers on the 2022-23 Michigan School Grades system and was honored with Central Michigan University’s 2023 Charter Schools Innovation and Vision Award.

The school has outperformed all Detroit Public Schools on the 2022-23 state test by 62 percentage points in ELA and 52 percentage points in math.

In all, 27 National Heritage Academies schools in Michigan were honored with Reward School status for the 2022-23 school year. Want to learn more about how NHA supports teachers and students to achieve at National Heritage Academies partner-schools? Visit

Pembroke Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Detroit, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 101 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 68,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit To find the nearest charter school near you, use the NHA school finder.

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SOURCE National Heritage Academies

Dayang Norazhar

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