The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

  An Introduction to Educational Quality 

semper novi quid ex Africa!
"Everything new always comes out of Africa!" — Pliny 

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Mission
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy (“the Academy”) opened in August 1999 as an independent, nonsectarian and public Community School. The Academy is currently located at 670 Wooster Avenue, Akron, Ohio  44307-1868  (Call: 330.376.4915 or  FAX: 330.376.4912). Its mission is to educate young people (K to 6; eventually it will enroll students in grades K to 12) in a holistic educational program that is personalized, problem-posing and problem-solving, centered in the humanities, natural sciences, language arts, social studies (civics), the arts and African and world culture studies. This mission emphasizes passing standard proficiency tests and reuniting traditional subject areas and learning activities so that students are better able to understand the relationship of one subject area to another and education to their present and future lives.

Who Will the Ida B. Wells Community Academy Serve?
The Academy was chartered by the Ohio Department of Education and established in Akron, Ohio, in association with the Task Force for Quality Education and a consortium of Akron based community organizations. It is designed to serve low-income and medium income African American, White, Native American, Latin American and Asian students residing within the Akron metropolitan area. Moreover, the Academy addresses its curriculum and educational services also to the needs of under achieving and under represented youths eligible to attend the Akron Public Schools. Recently, the passage of HB 282 affords the Academy the possibility of enrolling students through an "Interdistrict Transfer Program" who reside outside the Akron School District. Admission is FREE. Busing is to be provided by the Akron Public School District. Interdistrict transfer students will NOT be transported. Their parents will have to arrange for their transportion. 

The Academy's decision to maintain a low 15:1 student to teacher ratio will strengthen its efforts to increase these students educational performance while at the same time diversifying educational content. The Academy's intent is to eventually serve students from Kindergarten to High School. In its first year, which began in August 1999, the Academy enrolled only students in kindergarten through the 2nd grade, adding on average one grade per year during its initial five years in operation. In 2000-2001 the Academy will add a 3rd grade. The number of students the Academy can serve is limited to 90 students. When these places are unfilled, students will be selected for admission by lot. Interested parents should, therefore, register the children as soon as possible.

The number of students by year and grade level the Ida B. Wells Community Academy can serve currently is limited. 
  Year One 1999-2000  Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd 
  Year Two  2000-2001 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
  Year Three 2001-2002 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
  Year Four  2002-2003 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
  Year Five  2003-2004 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

Enrollment preference will be given to continuing Academy students and their siblings. As stated above, other students will be accepted by lottery, provided space is available.

Why Should Parents Enroll their Children in the Ida B. Wells Community Academy?
The Academy's personalized educational program, curricular structure and delivery system are major program elements. The Academy's emphasis on high academic expectations, moral and social responsibility, and increased proficiency test ratings will help influence parents to enroll their child(ren). Furthermore, the Academy involves parents in meaningful activities throughout the Academy's start-up and operational phases. These activities include teaching, administrative and governance functions, and committee assignments of various sorts, e.g., discipline, curriculum, admission, and faculty hiring.

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Program and Goals
The Academy provides an education that is nurturing, intellectually stimulating and intended to imbue in its students a mutual respect for learning proficiency, competence and for the attainment of knowledge of their history, culture, traditions and values. Students will learn to appreciate themselves, their fellow students, their families, and their community. Most importantly, the Academy seeks to establish a learning community and environment that is supported by a curriculum that relies on the learners' experiences at home, in their neighborhood, and in the society. It is structured to produce measurable performance outcomes in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and the natural sciences. The Academy promotes learning activities based on individual student interests and needs and allows students to grow at their own pace and enhance their own achievement expectations. Frequently the Academy will assess itself and report to parents how the overall curricular program and educational process is progressing as well as how well students are performing based on national, state and city norms. The Academy regularly assesses teacher performance, learning obstacles, student rights and responsibilities, student government and parental and community involvement.

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Philosophy and Operational Imperatives
The Academy's educational philosophy emphasizes a program structure and instructional design with these essential ingredients and more:

  • A required 6-week Summer Education Program that extends the academic year from 180 to 210 days to   enhance the students’ learning potential;
  • Small classes (a 15 to 1 student-teacher ratio) that are interdisciplinary and culturally integrative; these classes are designed to increase at all grade levels the amount students learn;
  • Team-teaching emphasis that stresses, where appropriate, using parents, interns, student teachers, retired teachers, and professionals as part-time teachers;
  • Individualized instruction, learning through doing (an active vs. passive instructional design);
  • Meeting students where they are culturally, socially and academically and then moving them to higher educational levels;
  • Self learning projects that are student or teacher initiated and conducted first in-school and later, based on student maturity, assigned as out-of-school projects; 
  • A “unidisciplinary” or holistic model that allows students to experience how one set of basic skills directly relates to other basic skills, i.e., reading to mathematics, geography to social sciences, mathematics to science, culture to history, and how all these relate to being educated in general.
The Academy's instructional philosophy and program structure are open ended so that it can maintain curricular and operational flexibility. The Academy's curricular focus follows the standard school curriculum with one noteworthy exception: The Academy infuses into its curriculum an emphasis on Africa, African America and the world. This element is vital to the correct education of its enrollees. A review of the Academy's educational philosophy and curricular plan reveals that we approach education from a quality perspective that agrees with Carter  G. Woodson's caution in his The Mis-education of the Negro (1933): 
"The element of race does not enter here. It is merely a matter of exercising common sense in approaching people through their environment in order to deal with conditions as they are rather than as you would like to see them or imagine that they are. There may be a difference in method of attack, but the principle remains the same. . . . History does not furnish a case of the elevation of a people by ignoring the thought and aspirations of the people thus served." 
Most children (and most educated Americans regardless of race) have not been properly exposed to the history, culture and aspirations of the African in America, the largest non-white racial group in the United States. This group's history, culture, languages, traditions and contributions to American civilization have been most neglected in school curricula from kindergarten to the PhD. The Academy is designed to correct this inequity by infusing curricular diversity that will not exclude learning about other ethnic or racial groups, particularly Native Americans, Latin Americans and Asians. All Americans must learn to live, work and understand each other. This need has been evident, although ignored, since the inception of the nation. It is the purpose of the Academy to offer a well-balanced education where academic skills are taught along with mutual respect and cooperation. In this way we undergird our efforts to keep the American experiment alive.

For More Information, Call:  330.376.4915  or  FAX:  330.376.4912

Send e-Mail to:  or

Visit the Academy’s Web Site at:

or  Write to: 

Perkins B. Pringle, Principal
Angela M. Anderson, Business Manager
Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Superintendent
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
670 Wooster Avenue
Akron, Ohio  44307-1868

We Are An Equal Education and Employment Opportunity Institution

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