Cool School of the Month: OAPCS Member School Dayton Early College Academy
Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) opened its doors in 2003 and is located on the campus of the University of Dayton. It was the first early college high school in Ohio. With a student body of 455, the school serves students grades 7 through 12 who are underrepresented in higher education, unprepared academically to meet college readiness standards, and unable to pay for college. DECA provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum designed to engage all students and prepare them for academic success in college. DECA boosts an impressive statistic: 100% of the graduates go on to pursue higher education and DECA was rated Excellent with Distinction by the Ohio Department of Education.
School Leader Dave Taylor presented at the OAPCS’ School Leader Symposium this summer about the importance of board development and fundraising, sharing examples of partnerships that DECA has built within the community. Dave’s session was rated excellent by participants at the Symposium, with one attendee’s comments stating, “I could listen to Dave all day. My only regret is that his presentation was not longer. His advice about fundraising was the one of the most valuable lessons I have learned as a new school leader.”
This week, OAPCS member school Columbus Collegiate Academy (CCA) celebrated the completion of its outdoor recreational facilities with an event at the school featuring CEO & Founder Andrew Boy and Keynote Speaker Archie Griffin. CCA received grant funds from The Columbus Foundation and The Columbus Youth Foundation to improve the playground.
At the Recreation Celebration this week, CEO and Founder Andrew Boy welcomed the guests and shared, “Today is a victory for our students and a celebration of using physical activity to positively impact the emotional and academic aspects of our community. Children now have a safe place to play and it is so uplifting to see this vision become a reality.”
Keynote Speaker Archie Griffin, President and CEO of The Ohio State University Alumni Association, discussed the importance of physical activity. “If I had not had a playground when I was a child, I would not have become the athlete I am today. Every child deserves this opportunity.”
Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) is a 6-12 school located in downtown Toledo focused on providing a college preparatory academic curriculum and intense visual and performing arts environment. TSA opened in 1999 – a pioneer in the charter school movement. Admission is open to creative students who seek an educational community of peers who are serious about their academic endeavors.
Bridges Community Academy (BCA) is in Tiffin, Ohio and is a K-12 school serving approximately 130 students from Seneca and surrounding counties. The core foundations of Bridges Community Academy include individualized attention, dedicated staff, teacher/parent partnerships, student self-awareness and student acceptance of others. Bridges Community Academy has Open Door Friday which is a monthly opportunity to invite the community to visit the school and see the great work happening. Some of these exciting activities at Bridges include advisors for group mentor students, access to post-secondary options at Tiffin University, Heidelberg University and University of Findlay, as well as participating in many community projects including a 5K run and a volunteer program working with senior citizens.
Horizon Science Academy (HSA) Columbus Middle School serves students in grades 6-8, with over 460 students representing 27 different countries. HSA provides students with an innovative education rich in math, science and technology. When you walk through the school, you feel the unique, positive culture. As school leader Okan Celiker explains, “The culture is built on a common set of values, as well as student, teacher, and parent accountability, and high expectations all resulting in high levels of student achievement.”
We also spoke with the PTO President Mikafui Daboni on our tour. Daboni has four children – two currently enrolled in HSA and two who graduated from HSA. Her daughters who graduated from HSA now attend college at University of Chicago and Case Western University. When I asked her why she liked HSA, she said, “There is no bullying and the teachers care so much for the students, in addition to the excellent education they receive.”
Pictured left: Hannah Powell, CEO of KIPP Journey Academy and Mark Real, CEO of KidsOhio.org
Pictured Right: Construction on KIPP Columbus campus
KIPP Journey Academy: Excellence Expands
This month OAPCS and KidsOhio.org staff had the privilege of touring the new KIPP Columbus campus currently being constructed on Agler Road. We met with KIPP Columbus Executive Director, Hannah Powell, and Chief Academic Officer Cecilia Shanahan, who gave us a guided tour of the new school site located approximately five miles from KIPP’s current location. This project is working at rapid speed; the property was purchased in summer 2013 and the new facility is set to open its doors to students in August 2014.
Pictured Above: State School Board Member Sarah Fowler and School Leader Dona Cardone of Schnee Learning Center with students
State Board of Education School Board member Sarah Fowler of District 7 visited two OAPCS member schools during School Choice Week. Fowler toured Greater Summit County Early Learning Center (GSCELC), a K-4 school in Akron and also visited dropout recovery school Schnee Learning Center in Cuyahoga Falls.
Fowler toured GSCELC with School Leader Teresa Graves and members of OAPCS staff. The school focuses on providing children with innovative and intentional learning formats, and providing motivational spaces for engagement such as a garden where parents and students can harvest food year-round.