New Jersey Native Finds her Place at XPA
In the summer of 2019, the Datwani family relocated from New Jersey to South Florida just before their youngest child, Kieran, started 9 th grade. Kieran enrolled in the local public high school but struggled to find her place amongst thousands of other students. In March 2020, just before the pandemic closed school nationwide, the Datwani family began researching other options and discovered Xceed Preparatory Academy.
“We were a bit apprehensive at first because XPA presented a new model of education,” said Cathy Datwani, Kieran’s mom. “As parents, we hadn’t been exposed to anything like this with our older children, so we weren’t sure what to think.”
“But Kieran? She immediately knew it was for her,” shared Arun Datwani, Kieran’s dad. “And, as a parent, all you want to see is your child thrive in a safe and supportive environment. So, we were on board with switching her halfway through the semester.”
“It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” continued Cathy. “She’s thriving.” Like many parents who went to school with traditional 45- or 75-minute block classes and a bell-and-lunch structure, it was initially difficult for the Datwanis to imagine that high school could be anything different.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Arun said. “However, when you think about it, the XPA model makes perfect sense: personalized learning plans, flexible schedules, a tight knit campus and the opportunity for Kieran to excel at her own pace. In a traditional school, teachers can only work as fast as the slowest learner. But at XPA, teachers are constantly challenging her and opening her eyes to new opportunities.”
At Xceed Preparatory Academy, students study courses as long as they need and switch to other classes when they are ready. So, if a student masters content sooner than the traditional semester dictates, they can move on to the next level.
“Kieran was bored at her former school,” said Cathy. “She had been at a top middle school in New Jersey and was used to being stimulated. Unfortunately, she did not have that same experience at the public high school she first attended when we moved here, so finding Xceed was a huge relief for all of us.”
The XPA teachers see my potential and tailor my studies to meet my needs and goals.
And I’m not just a number here—they care about me and want me to succeed. Even
our Head of School, Mrs. Smith cares: she is always writing little notes to encourage me and my
classmates. She knows what’s going on, what classes I’m taking and what I’m involved in.
In fact, Kieran became so embedded in the culture at XPA-Coral Springs, she immersed herself in various extracurricular programs and volunteering activities. This fall, she was elected president of the Student Government Association.
“You don’t realize how good a program is until you immerse yourself in it,” Kieran said. “XPA is everything I could have hoped for and more. I love our school and am so appreciative for the opportunity to go here.”