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About Essence Prep

Shaping education in San Antonio by focusing on our student’s journey of self-discovery and improving outcomes for our scholars.

Essence Preparatory Public School is a tuition-free public school on the Eastside of San Antonio, opened in August 2022. Essence Prep is currently serving Pre-k – 8th

Our school is where children learn the skills they need to advocate for themselves and the needs of their communities after graduation. Essence Prep was created to meet black and brown children’s educational, social, and emotional needs and will show that home zip codes are not predictors of educational success.

Essence Prep Our Mission

Our Mission

Developing leading agents of change

Essence Preparatory Public School, through rigorous academics, intentional character development, and cultivating scholar knowledge of self, prepares all kindergarten through eighth-grade scholars for high school, college, and beyond as leading agents of change in their communities.


A guide to our curriculum, our assessments, our learner profiles, and expectations for our scholars.

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Our Team

Our staff teaches character development with a culturally affirming curriculum to foster student’s growth.

Meet the team

In the News

We are in the limelight for all the right reasons, see what’s been said about Essence Prep.

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Essence Preparatory Public School: Development

Approach & Core Beliefs

We use these definitions of our RISE values to underpin our vision for culture:


We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of performance in pursuit of success. We know that we must always hold the bar of expectations as high as possible and become comfortable struggling towards achieving our goals because we know that we “grow our brains” best when we are challenged.

Intellectual Investment.

We cultivate a culture of intellectual inquiry, personal growth, and achievement by celebrating scholarship and learning. Our scholars exemplify this value every day in our classrooms – they push themselves to engage deeply in work worthy of their attention. Our staff exemplifies this value through a commitment to continuous improvement – we are never satisfied resting on our laurels and working hard to learn and get better every day. At Essence Prep, there is no distinction made between the “nerds and the jocks” or the “cool kids and the smart kids.” Here, it is cool to be smart, and we invest intellectually in rigorous work because learning is exciting and rewarding.


We do whatever it takes in service of our mission. For our scholars, this means becoming true change agents in their community by embracing a spirit of selfless service. We see service as inherent to both scholarship and citizenship, and we commit to helping our community in and out of school. For Essence staff, our scholars are at the heart of everything we do, and we consider our work an act of service to our scholars, their families, our community, and ourselves. We do not engage in service for personal gain or external accolades; instead, we do so because serving others is the right thing to do.


We aim for high-quality and exemplary attention to detail in everything we do. From scholars’ schoolwork to school culture and behavior to staff lesson planning and beyond, we hold extremely high expectations of everyone at Essence Prep, including English learners, students with disabilities, and scholars at risk of academic failure. We see every task as an opportunity to demonstrate excellence, and we celebrate our own successes and those of others when we achieve lofty goals.