Highlights from Fordham-sponsored charter schools (2011-12)
The Fordham Foundation has authorized (aka sponsored) charter schools in Ohio since 2005 and currently oversees eight schools (three more will join our portfolio this fall). As the 2011-12 school year ends, we want to highlight the unique events and successes that happened in our schools this year.
Columbus Collegiate Academy (CCA)
Last summer, CCA moved from space that it shared with a Weinland Park area church since the school opened in 2008 to a new location on Main Street, in the near eastside of Columbus. In terms of student achievement, 40 students were “NWEA all-stars” – meeting ambitious academic growth targets set for them in both reading and math. Sixth graders also participated in “Run the City,” a day-long project where they dealt with the ins and outs of running a city, including banking, marketing, and advertising. Students also got a glimpse of college life with full-day visits to the Ohio State University, Ohio Dominican University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and Denison University. CCA leadership recently launched a new charter management organization, the United Schools Network, which will open a second middle school, Columbus Collegiate Academy-West, this August.
KIPP: Journey Academy
KIPP received excellent news this spring when the school was awarded the prestigious New Leaders for New Schools EPIC Award for outstanding academic growth. KIPP: Journey Academy was the only school in Ohio and the only KIPP school nationwide to receive the award. The inaugural class of “KIPPsters” graduated from the middle school this year and will take their next step on the journey to college as they matriculate to some of the highest performing high schools in Columbus. KIPPsters also extended their learning beyond the classroom and participated in end-of-year trips to Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; Chicago; and Atlanta.
Dayton Liberty and Dayton View Academies are excited about an influx of new staff for the coming school year: this spring the schools received confirmation that over the next two years at least ten Teach For America corps members will be placed across the two campuses. Teach For America was officially introduced to the Southwest region of Ohio earlier this month. Both Teach For America and the Dayton Leadership Academies are excited about this new partnership and the impact it could have on student achievement.
The Phoenix Community Learning Center, in Cincinnati, capped off 2012 with its signature event, Culturama. Culturama is a three-day school-wide event during which classrooms explore particular aspects of a theme country’s culture, food, music, literature, industry, and more. This year, the Caribbean nations were the focus, as captured by a group of eighth-grade students who decorated this door.
In 2011-12 the Springfield Academy of Excellence added the Project MORE reading intervention program. Project MORE utilizes volunteers to provide one-on-one mentoring to students reading below grade level. This year the program served 16 students and the school reports that it had a positive impact students’ progress between reading levels.
Sciotoville Community School (aka East High School)
This spring, two Sciotoville students presented at the State High Schools that Work Best Practices Showcase. Student Christopher Rittner won the High Schools that Work Senior Achievement Award. He also won the Honda Math Medal Award. In sports, the Tartan’s softball team broke the school's record for the most softball wins in the school history, finishing the season at 22-5. Several students also placed in the 2011-12 Scioto County Art Show.
Junior High Language Arts teacher, Kristen Wawro took two student teams to the district Power of the Pen Interscholastic Competition for Young Writers. One seventh grader and five eighth graders qualified for the regional tournament, and one eighth grader went on to qualify for the state competition. And of course both Sciotoville schools were featured in our short documentary, The Tartans: The Story of the Sciotoville Community Schools.