Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

Hosted by the Antioch Baptist Church of Akron
670 Wooster Avenue
Akron, Ohio 44307-1868

COUNTY: Summit IRN: 133553

Part I: Annual Report for 1999-2000


The Academy was chartered by the State Department of Education on May 4, 1999, and opened on August 30, 1999 as an independent, nonsectarian and public Community School in Akron, Ohio. It was incorporated as the  Ida B. Wells Community Academy, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, on December 29, 1998. The Academy's Learning Center for fiscal year 1999-2000 was located at 1104 Johnston Street, Akron, Ohio 44305-2414 (330.535.5130). Its Administrative Offices were at 395 East Tallmadge Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44310-2352 (330.376.4915). The Learning Center and Administrative Offices moved on August 11, 2000, to the premises of the Antioch Baptist Church of Akron, 670 Wooster Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44307-1868. Telephone numbers, however, remained  unchanged – 330.376.4915 and FAX: 330.376.4912. The Internal Revenue Service granted the Academy tax  exempt status under section 501(c)(3) on May 19, 2000.

Kindergarten Class of 1999-2000 Instructor: Damon Reed Educational Mission

The Academy's 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 performing and graphic 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 (see "A Paradigm of Curricular Holism" and "Circles of  Continuing Development" below).

The Academy was founded 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 underachieving and under represented youths eligible to attend the Akron Public Schools. The recent passage of HB 282 affords the Academy the possibility of enrolling students through an "Interdistrict Transfer Program" who reside outside the Akron School District (see Attachment VIII). Admission is FREE. Busing will be provided by the Akron Public School District. lnterdistrict transfers will NOT to be transported, however. These students' parents will have to arrange for their transportation.

At the close of the Academy's first academic year, we convened a Board Retreat led by Mr. Richard Lewis of Case Western Reserve University's Mandel Center to refresh all Governors on the Academy's Mission Statement as well as the Governors' management roles and their need to regularly review the policies that were developed over the year. Of specific interest at this retreat were the Academy's organizational structure and its educational plan. More on this retreat will be dealt with later in this report.

A Harmonious Learning Community

   This "Program Harmony Diagram" was first conceptualized by
   Professor Fela Sowande. In 1985, E.W. Crosby added a fourth
   dimension -- "Program Parents & Community."
     Educational Philosophy

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 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 high achievement expectations. Occasionally, the Academy assesses itself and reports 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, if available. The Academy regularly assesses teacher performance, learning obstacles, student rights and responsibilities, student, parental, community and home resources and involvement.

The Academy's educational philosophy emphasizes a program structure and instructional design that mandates 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 to 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 more advanced 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 curricular 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 from a more culturally relevant point of view (see "A Paradigm on Curricular Holism" below).
Curricular Focus

The Academy's personalized educational program, curricular structure and delivery system are major program elements. 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 scores helped influence parents to continue the enrollment of their child(ren). Furthermore, the Academy stressed the involvement of parents in meaningful activities throughout the Academy's startup and operational phases. These activities included teaching, administrative and governance functions, and committee assignments of various sorts, e.g., discipline, curriculum, admission, and faculty hiring. It should be noted here; however, that we were not as successful in this arena as we had hoped to be. More parental and community involvement is desired.

The Academy's decision to maintain a low 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio strengthened 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 on August 30, 1999, the Academy enrolled only students in Kindergarten through the 2nd Grade, adding one grade per year during its initial five years of operation. In 2000-2001 the Academy will add the 3rd Grade. During 1999-2000, the number of students the Academy served was limited. The managers of the Academy's startup facility would not allow more than 45 students; 15 students fewer than the contracted number. The Superintendent compromised and determined that the Academy would still have a critical mass of students were it to enroll no fewer than 50. To enroll fewer would have resulted in a shortfall of funds too great to remain fiscally solvent. In 2000-2001 the number of students enrolled will increase to 90 students barring any unforeseen difficulties. During both the 1999-2000 and the 2000-2001 enrollment periods, when these available places are unfilled, students were to be (will be) selected for admission by lot. And enrollment preference given to continuing Academy students and their siblings. 

First Grade Class of 1999-2000 – Instructor: Mrs. Beverly C. Hoopes

For the five-year contract period (1999-2004), the Academy has proposed enrolling students according to the following schedule:
Year One Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd
Year Two Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Year Three Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Year Four Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Year Five Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th

The Academy's instructional philosophy and program structure are open ended so that it can maintain curricular and operational flexibility (see "Circles of Continuing Development" below). [1] The Academy's curricular focus follows the standard school curriculum with one noteworthy exception: The Academy strives to infuse into its curriculum an emphasis on Africa, African America and the world, i.e., this curricular strategy would be particularly inclusive of Native American, Latino and Asian cultural and historical elements. These elements are vital to the correct and diverse education of its enrollees.

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 nonwhite 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. 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 1933 classic The Mis-education of the Negro: [2]

"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."

Second Grade Class of 1999-2000. Substitute Instructor: Mr. Perkins B. Pringle. Mr. Pringle is also the
Academy's Principal)

All Americans, we believe, must learn to live, work and understand each other. This need has been evident, although ignored, since the inception of the nation. The Academy's purpose is to offer a well-balanced education where academic skills are taught along with mutual respect and cooperation, a knowledge of the neighborhood where the students reside, an informed view of their home and the homes of their neighbors, and a realistic and undamaged sense of self. In this way we undergird our efforts to keep the American experiment alive.

Governance and Administration

     The Current Board of Governors [3]

  • Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Chair; Kent State University Professor Emeritus, Cofounder and Superintendent
  • Mrs. Emma Jean Calhoun, Cofounder and Chair, Task Force for Quality Education, Akron, Ohio
  • Dr. Marlene R. Dorsey, Associate Professor of Education and Dean, College of Continuing Studies, Kent State University
  • Dr. Angela N. Neal-Barnett, Associate Professor of Psychology, Kent State University
  • Mrs. Beverly K. Parker, MS, School Speech and Hearing Specialist, Certificated, Akron Public Schools
  • Mrs. Patricia Pittman-Beasley. Parent Representative, Akron, Ohio
  • Ms. Lisa-Ann Wheeler, Communications Coordinator, American Heart Association, Akron, Ohio
  • Mr. Perkins B. Pringle, MEd, Principal, Ida B. Wells Community Academy, Ex Officio

Pastor J. Wayman Butts, Dr. Edward W. Crosby and Perkins B. Pringle

     Governors Who Resigned During the Year

  • Mr. Dean S. Seavers (retained as consultant), Regional Manager, ADT, Miami Florida
  • Mrs. Kim Amponsah, Esq., Tax Lawyer, National City Bank (Cleveland)
  • Dr. Darryl S. Tukufu, CEO and President, The Tukufu Group, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Mrs. Sallie E. Bess, Vice President, Human Resources, National City Bank (Akron)
     Governors Nominated as Replacements
  • Sandra Bryant, Community Representative
  • Regina L. Gregory, Parent Representative
  • Helen DuBoise, Parent Representative
     Board of Governors Staff
  • Ms. Angela M. Anderson, MBA, Board Treasurer
  • Mrs. Pauline C. Clark, Board Secretary
     Administrative Staff
  • Dr. Edward W. Crosby, PhD, Superintendent
  • Mr. Perkins B. Pringle, MEd, Principal
  • Ms. Angela M. Anderson, MBA, Business Manager
  • Mrs. Pauline C. Clark, Secretary and EMIS Data Entry and Student Records Coordinator
     Certified Faculty for 1999-2000
          (see below for a complete roster of all faculty and staff hired; copies of resumes and teaching certificates are
          available upon request)
  • Kindergarten: Damon Reed
  • First Grade: Beverly C. Hoopes
  • Second Grade: Talibah Afi
  • Second Grade: Doris M. Doughty
  • Special Education Teacher: SheRel Pringle
  • Circle of Continuing Development

Additional Instructional and Support Staff
  • Substitute Teacher - P. Raita Bilal (Certified)
  • Substitute Teacher - Teresa K. Sayles
  • Assistant Teacher - Erlene Haslam
  • Assistant Teacher - Linda Owens
  • Volunteer Music Teacher - Frances Pringle
  • Karate Instructor - Lee Harris
  • Chess Instructor - Robin Evans 
  • Custodial Staff - Michele Baker
Enrollment Statistics
  • Number of Students Currently Enrolled: 44
  • Number of Students Originally Enrolled: 52
  • Number of Students per Grade Level
          Kindergarten:    17 Students 
          First Grade:       14 Students 
          Second Grade: 13 Students
  • Number of Student Withdrawals and Suspensions per Grade Level
          Kindergarten:        2 Withdrawals   6 Suspensions 
          First Grade:           6 Withdrawals   5 Suspensions 
          Second Grade:     2 Withdrawals   2 Suspensions
  • Percent Withdrawals (all grades) 19 percent
  • Percent Suspensions (all grades) 25 percent
  • Percent Expulsions (all grades) 2 percent
  • Number of Students Retained per Grade Level 
          Kindergarten:     2
          First Grade:        2
          Second Grade:  1
  • Students to Teacher Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Projected Enrollment for 2000-2001: 90 students


        1. Dan Aldridge. (1969). Education to Govern, A Philosophy and Program for Learning NOW! (Detroit: Advocators), p. 47. His circular matrix was discussed by the Principal, the Chair of the Curriculum Committee and the Superintendent. Their decision was to put it before the faculty in an in-service training session during the 2000-2001 academic year. A more legible copy of the matrix  can be acquired by emailing the Webmaster.

2. Carter G. Woodson, (1933, 1977). Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, Inc., p. xi.

       3. Many of the Governors' resumes (past and present) have been posted here. Governors recently admitted to the Board have not yet been entered.

NB: The Attachments referred to in this report may be requested from the Webmaster via an e-mail indicating which attachment is wanted.

End of Part I

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For More Information Write or Call

Dr. Edward W. Crosby, PhD, Co-Founder, Superintendent

Mr. Perkins B. Pringle, MEd, Principal
Ms. Angela M. Anderson, MBA , Business Manager / BoardTreasurer

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
670 Wooster Avenue
Akron, Ohio 44307-1868

Voice: 330.376.4915    FAX: 330.376.4912

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