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1984 - today


We’ve come a long way since opening our doors to 25 students in 1983. Today, we serve 123 children and have graduated 930 – and 97% of our grads went on to attend college-preparatory high-school programs with significant scholarship assistance.

Nearly 40 years ago, Dan Corley sat in his living room with a group of parents and community leaders to create a middle school. He chose the name "Community" to emphasize parent, volunteer, and neighborhood participation – as well as the diversity of the student body. Parents selected "Preparatory" to stress academic commitment. In the fall of 1984, Community Preparatory School opened with 25 students and three teachers in rented classrooms at the John Hope Settlement House.

Community Prep's growth and progress – a constant upward trajectory – reflect its evolving maturity. Today, the school proudly recognizes 930 graduates and a faculty of 15 dedicated educators. Its cherished 'Beloved Community' has been thoughtfully nurtured and continues to provide students with academic rigor and exceptional opportunities.

Dan Corley
Founder & Head of School

For most people, community service is a pastime. For Dan Corley, school reform advocate and founder of Community Preparatory School, it is his life's work.

While a student at Brown University, Dan spent a year living with the homeless and working in soup kitchens in New York City and Washington, D.C. After graduation, he taught for a year at a Catholic school in Providence, then served as a VISTA volunteer.
Upon having their first child, his wife Betsy became the first house manager for Advent House—a shelter for the homeless in Providence. Dan returned to teaching and spent five years at a school for at-risk boys in Narragansett, R.I.

In 1984, at the age of 30, Dan founded Community Preparatory School in the heart of South Providence. For more than thirty years, he has implemented and refined innovative teaching techniques that have enabled Community Prep to grow from a small, neighborhood school to a model of rigorous, inclusive urban education.

Today, Community Prep serves 123 students and has been acclaimed by The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Wall Street Journal. Ninety-seven percent of the school's graduates have been accepted into college preparatory high school programs, and 83% -- more than twice the urban public-school average -- are attending or have graduated from college.

Under his leadership, Community Prep has grown into a model of inclusive urban education. Yet Dan can still be found in the classroom, teaching eighth-grade math, overseeing our famous Calculator Club, and making sure our students learn how to learn.

Bob Hahn

Robert Hahn is a professor and director of economics at the Smith School at the University of Oxford; a senior fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and an associate member at Nuffield, Oxford; a non-resident senior fellow at Brookings; and a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. From 1999 to 2008, Professor Hahn served as the director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center, a leader in policy research in law and economics, regulation, and antitrust. Previously, he worked for the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers, where he helped design the innovative market-based cap-and-trade system for limiting smokestack sulfur emissions. He also has served on the faculties of Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Professor Hahn is a frequent contributor to leading scholarly journals including the American Economic Review, Science, and the Yale Law Journal, as well as to general-interest periodicals including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.

Professor Hahn has served as a consultant to government and business on various issues, including regulation, competition, and strategy. He is currently conducting several field experiments aimed at encouraging cost-effective conservation of energy and water resources. In addition, Professor Hahn is co-founder of the Community Preparatory School, an urban middle school in Providence, Rhode Island, that provides opportunities for students to reach their full academic and personal potential, regardless of their family income.


135 Prairie Avenue
Providence, RI 02905

P. (401) 521-9696
F. (401) 521-9715

Located on the southside of Providence, Community Preparatory School is an independent middle school for grades 4-8.

Since 1984, Community Preparatory School has committed to nurturing an environment of cultural and economic diversity.

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