Photo caption: Thom Jackson (fourth from right) joins Gary Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt (far right), Gary School Board members, and Roosevelt students at the Indiana State Board of Education meeting yesterday in Indianapolis.
The State Board of Education gave its approval Wednesday to a partnership between the Gary Community School Corp. and EdisonLearning Inc. to operate the Roosevelt College and Career Academy.
The plan goes into effect in July. The resolution, with performance goals for five years, approved Wednesday stated Roosevelt's designation as a state turnaround academy would remain.
Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt and EdisonLearning CEO Thom Jackson told the state board they are moving forward with a transitional model to improve achievement and the career potential for students.
Roosevelt's entanglement with the state began in 2011 when six straight years of F grades triggered the state to label it as a turnaround target. The state hired EdisonLearning to run the school for five years and it's being paid with Gary's share of tuition support money for Roosevelt, about $3 million to $4 million annually.
"The climate, safety and the graduation rate has improved," Pruitt said.
The school's test scores have improved, and its graduation rate improved from 41 percent in 2012 to 57 percent last year. Today, 85 percent of graduates are enrolled in two- or four-year college or vocational programs, compared to 60 percent in 2012. Attendance has increased from 71 percent to 92 percent.
Under the agreement, EdisonLearning will continue running the school, but both parties would oversee academics and performance goals.
Together, they plan to transform Roosevelt into an innovation network school under the state law that established state turnaround guidelines.
On Wednesday, March 1, students from Bridgescape Learning Academies Humboldt Park and Lawndale traveled to Rosemont, Illinois to celebrate efforts to “Empower Young People to Change the World.”
We Day is a celebration that encourages our youth to make a difference in their local and global communities. “WE Schools” has designed a year-long program that nurtures the compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformational social change. Together they offer young people tools and the inspiration to take social action, empower others and transform lives including their own.
We salute Directors Kisha Lang (Humboldt Park) and John Shenberger (Lawndale) for allowing our students to participate in this life-impacting event. They say WE DAY!
On Wednesday, March 1, Gary Indiana Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson hosted her annual Prayer Breakfast benefitting the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). More than 300 businesses – including EdisonLearning – civic, and community leaders support the UNCF event. Proceeds assist in providing scholarships for Northwest Indiana students.
This year, students from Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy attended – shown above with Mayor Freeman-Wilson - Shawana Martin, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Tion Traywick, and Shawn Hampton
UNCF is known as the nation’s largest minority organization supporting higher education, student development and other programs for students attending historically black colleges and universities. The UNCF Northwest Indiana Leadership Council established in 2007 has raised more than $400,000 and has awarded more than 60 Scholarships to students in Northwest Indiana.
The UNCF administers more than 400 programs including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities.
EdisonLearning has been at the forefront of the most dramatic advances in American public education for a generation, and continues to establish itself as a leader in virtual education with a new partnership recently finalized with the Indiana Virtual School.
Indiana Virtual School, an online public charter school funded by the Indiana Department of Education, serves 3,700 students throughout the state. It is the only online, virtual JH/HS education program in Indiana created by public school teachers for public school students.
Shortly, EdisonLearning’s more than 200 eCourses will be available to students at Indiana Virtual.
This new partnership, following the acquisition of the Mavericks in Education schools in Florida, is a significant, positive step in EdisonLearning’s “Pivoting to Growth” initiative point #1 to; Demonstrate top line growth through new sales.
To learn more about Indiana Virtual School, visit: http://www.indianavirtual.com/
On Thursday, March 2, at 3 pm (eastern), EdisonLearning will kick-off a series of webinars to promote our eCourse curriculum. In collaboration with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, the one-hour webinars will feature principals and teachers currently utilizing eCourses in their schools.
Participants will learn from talented educators at Hill Top Academy in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania - a K-12 school operated by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit - how they are utilizing innovative online curriculum to advance learning outcomes for students faced with diverse special needs and unique challenges.
Presenters will be:
Dr. John Thompson
Principal, Hill Top Academy
Dr. Thompson began his career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and later found his way into public education as a work-based learning teacher. Currently, he is the principal of Hill Top Academy where he leads a staff of 90 professional educators helping to eliminate learning barriers for students in grades K-12. Dr. Thompson has found online learning to be a vital resource in helping students break through such barriers, that negatively affect their success in school and life.
Supervisor of Online Learning, Capital Area Intermediate Unit.
Ms. Brzycki oversees the Capital Area Online Learning Association, a regional online learning program for 97 school districts and Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania. Holly has been in education for 21 years as a teacher, curriculum director, principal and supervisor in traditional and cyber schools. She has spent the past 13 years dedicated to online learning, blending her passions of education and technology.
Registration for the webinar: http://edisonlearning.com/eCourseWebinar.php