The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

  An Introduction to Educational Quality 

Novi quid ex Africa!
"Everything new comes out of Africa!"  Pliny 

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Mission 
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy will open its doors on August 30, 1999 as an independent, non-exclusive public Community School. Its administrative offices are at 395 East Tallmadge Avenue, Akron, Ohio  443410-2352. The Academy itself will be located at the East Akron Salvation Army Post at 1104 Johnston Street, Akron, Ohio  44305-2114. 

The Academy's mission is to educate young people (Kindergarten to 12th grade) in a holistic educational atmosphere that is personalized, problem-posing and problem-solving, with an educational reform emphasis. The Academy's curriculum is 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 in a fully holistic fashion traditional subject areas and learning activities. The object is to have students over time be better able to understand the interrelationship of one subject area to another and education to their present and future lives. 

Who Will the Ida B. Wells Community Academy Serve? 
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy (hereing referred to as the Academy) is sponsored by the Ohio State Department of Education and established in Akron, Ohio, by the Task Force for Quality Education. It is designed to serve African American, White, Native American and Latin American students residing within the Akron metropolitan area. The Academy addresses its curriculum and educational services also to the needs of all youths eligible to attend the Akron Public Schools. Recently, however, the Academy learned of the possibility of enrolling students through "Open Enrollment" who reside outside the Akron School District provided their home school districts agrees. Admission is FREE. Busing is to be provided by the Akron Public School District. In the event that does not happen, the Academy will contract with a private transportation service. The Academy's decision to maintain a low 15 to 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 begans in August 1999, the Academy has enrolled only students in kindergarten through the 2nd grade; in subsequent years, the Academy will add on average one grade per year during its initial five years in operation. 

The number of students the Ida B. Wells Community Academy can serve is limited. 

          Year One  2000  Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd 
          Year Two  2001  Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
          Year Three  2002 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
          Year Four  2003 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
          Year Five  2004 Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

Students will be admitted by lottery it there is an over demand on space at any grade level. Students, for whom space
is not available, will be placed on a waiting list and admitted as space becomes available. Each succeeding year, enrollment preference will be given to continuing Academy students and their siblings. 

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

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Program and Goals 
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy provides an education that is nurturing, intellectually stimulating and intended to imbue in its students a mutual respect for learning proficiency, competence and also 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 and neighborhood. Most importantly, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy intends to establish a functional Learning Community and educational environment that is supported by a curriculum that relies on the learners' experiences at home, in their neighborhood, and in the society in general.

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy is structured to produce measurable performance outcomes in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and the natural sciences. The Ida B. Wells Community 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. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy will frequently 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 local norms. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy regularly assesses teacher performance, learning/teaching practices and obstacles, student rights and responsibilities, student government and parental and community involvement. 

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

  • Small classes that are interdisciplinary and culturally integrative; these classes are designed to enhance at all grade levels the students' learning proficiency; 
  • Team-teaching emphasis that stresses, where appropriate, using parents, interns, assistant 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; 
  • An interrelatedness 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 Ida B. Wells Community Academy's instructional philosophy and program structure are open ended so that it can maintain curricular and operational flexibility. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's curricular focus follows the standard school curriculum with one noteworthy exception: The Ida B. Wells Community 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 careful review of the Ida B. Wells Community Academy's educational philosophy and curricular plan reveals that we approach education from a quality perspective that agrees with the late 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 Ida B. Wells Community Academy is designed to correct this cultural inequity by infusing curricular diversity that will not exclude learning about other ethnic or racial groups, particularly Native Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans. 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 Ida B. Wells Community 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 the Office:  330.376.4915 OR Send a FAX to:  330.376.4912

Call the Academy:  330.376.5130 OR Send a FAX to:  330.376.5489 

Send e-Mail to:  IBWCA@netscape.netOR Academy@concentric.netOR

We Are An Equal Education and Employment Opportunity Program!


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