The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

  An Introduction to Educational Quality 

Serving the Educational Needs of Akron's Youth from
1999 to 2006 and Beyond

Hosted by Mt. Olive Baptist and Mt. Calvary Baptist Churches of Akron, Ohio

Sponsored by The Lucas County Educational Service Center, Toledo, Ohio

Founded by Dr. Edward W. Crosby and Mrs. Emma Jean Calhoun

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

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Mission

Small Mammalian Design-Gabon-transparentThe Ida B. Wells Community Academy was chartered by the State of Ohio on May 4, 1999, as a public, independent, and equal education and employment opportunity Community School. Its mission is to educate urban youth (K through 8) in a holistic educational atmosphere that is personalized, problem-posing and problem-solving, centered in African and African American culture studies, the visual and performing arts, the humanities, science, language arts, social studies. This mission stresses passing standard proficiency tests and internally developed academic assessments and reuniting traditional subject areas and learning activities so that students are able holistically to understand the relationship of one subject area to another and education to their present and future lives. The Academy’s Elementary School classes (Grades K to 4) are held at Mt. Olive, 1180 Slosson Street; the Middle School classes (Grades 5 to 8) are held at Mt. Calvary, 442 Bell Street. Both Baptist Churches are in Akron, Ohio. Mrs. Angela M. Neeley, MBA, is the Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officer. The Academy is governed by a highly qualified eleven (11) member Board of Governors. The individual Board members, administrators, faculty and staff members are highlighted here.

Who Will The Academy Serve From 1999 to 2006 and beyond?

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy is chartered by the Ohio Department of Education and established in Akron, Ohio. It opened on August 30, 1999, and is designed to serve African American, White, Native American and Latin American students residing within the Akron metropolitan area. Recently, the passage of HB 282 allows the Academy to admit as "interdistrict transfers" all students who reside in Ohio but outside the Akron School District, provided space is available and preference is given to students residing within the District. Admission to the Academy is FREE. Busing is to be provided by the Akron Public School District to students residing within the District and more than two miles from the Academy. In the event that does not happen, the Academy MAY arrange for private transportation services. NOTE: Transportation will not be provided for those students living outside the Akron Bronze Bracelet-MaliPublic School District. The Academy's decision to maintain an average of 15 students per class will strengthen its efforts to increase these students' educational performance while at the same time diversifying educational content. Beginning in August, 2004, the Academy will enroll 200 to 250 students in Kindergarten through the 8th grade, and enroll additional students as space becomes available. The Academy plans to add the 7th grade in 2004-2005 and the 8th grade in 2005-2006. The number of students the Ida B. Wells Community Academy can serve is limited. Initially, enrollees will be admitted on a first come, first served basis until available spaces are filled. Later students will be put on a waiting list and accepted by lottery as spaces become available. 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 scores should influence parents to enroll their child(ren) in the Ida B. Wells Community Academy. Furthermore, the Ida B. Wells Community Academy involves parents and the community at large in meaningful activities throughout the Academy's operational and developmental phases. These activities include assisting teachers, administrative and governance functions, committee assignments of various sorts, e.g., discipline, curriculum, admission, faculty hiring,  and  facilities acquisition.

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy's Educational Program and Goals

Fanti Calabash Dog DesignThe 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 Ida B. Wells Community Academy's educational philosophy and operational imperatives emphasize a program structure and instructional design with these essential ingredients and more:

  • A year-round academic year that requires students and faculty to be in attendance for 210 days rather than the 180-day standard. This extension of 6-weeks allows for more curricular innovation, increased learning, and intervention services. It also makes more intellectually profitable use of a usually unproductive, long summer break;
  • Small  classes that are interdisciplinary and culturally integrative;
  • A team-teaching emphasis that stresses, where appropriate, using parents, interns, student teachers, and retired teachers or professionals as volunteer and paid part-time instructors;
  • Individualized instruction, learning through doing (an active vs. passive instructional design);
  • Meeting students where they are culturally, social-ly, and academically and then moving them on 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; and
  • A “unidisciplinary” curricular model that allows students to experience how one set of basic skills relates to other basic skills, e.g., reading to mathematics to science, culture to history to geography, and how all these things relate to being educated in a complex global society.
Carving on Yoruba Wooden Door-transparentThe 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 curricula 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 Carter G. Woodson's caution in his The Mis-education of the Negro (1933). Most children 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 cultural hegemony by infusing curricular diversity that will not exclude learning about other ethnic or racial groups, particularly Native Americans and Latin 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 Academy to offer a well balanced education where academic skills are taught along with mutual respect and cooperation. This perspective undergirds the Academy’s resolve to keep the American experiment alive.

For More Information About the Academy 

Call:  330.867.1085   FAX:  330.867.1074

Send e-Mail to:  or

Visit the Academy’s Web Site at:

or  Write to: 

Ms. Angela M. Anderson, Chief Administrative Officer

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
1180 Slosson Street
Akron, Ohio  44320-2730

Each One Teach One

We Are a Quality Equal Education and Employment Opportunity Institution

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