Diverse by Design

A free, public, charter school in St. Louis, MO

Lafayette Preparatory Academy strives to provide an excellent education in a close-knit community that values each and every person. LPA is diverse by design, reflecting the city we love. Children of all backgrounds grow and learn together, strengthening our community bonds and preparing to effectively lead the next generation together.

What do we mean by diversity?

Diversity encompasses complex differences and similarities in perspectives, identities, and points of view. Diversity includes important and interrelated dimensions of human identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, ability and age. These differences are important to understand but they cannot be used to predict any individual’s values, choices or responses.

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual similarities and differences. It is the exploration of these similarities and differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

“Unless our children begin to learn together, there is little hope that our people will ever begin to live together.”

-Thurgood Marshall

Diverse by Design: The Research

Racial and economic integration in schools leads to:

  • Higher test scores and better grades
  • Improved graduation rates
  • Higher college attendance & completion rates
  • Reduced exposure to criminal justice system
  • Choice of integrated neighborhoods as adults
  • Improved critical thinking skills (learning to see and anticipate other points of view)
  • Increased racial tolerance/less stereotyping
  • Lower levels of “racial anxiety”
  • More cross racial friendships
  • Greatest gains for low income children of color, but all children benefit

A Snapshot  of Diversity at LPA

  • 40% qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch
  • 19% receive Special Education Services
  • 7% qualify as English Language Learners


  • 2% Asian
  • 40% African-American
  • 6% Hispanic
  • 7% Multi-Racial
  • 45% White

In addition, we serve  families from many religions, family structures, gender identities,  education levels and life experiences.