Chaundria Smith, a successful educator with more than a decade of experience as a teacher, assistant principal, college professor, and school principal has been named Executive Director of Provost Academy Ohio.
“My career as an educator has shown me that the traditional school setting does not meet the needs of all students. For this reason, at Provost Academy Ohio we will pride ourselves on educating the ‘whole child’ through an online learning environment, as well as on-going mentoring and advising to ensure students receive the personalized attention they deserve,” Executive Director Smith said.
Prior to taking on her new role, Executive Director Smith was serving as a Director of Achievement for EdisonLearning in Cleveland. Previously, she was Principal of the Meridian Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., an Assistant Principal in the Hampton (Virginia) City Schools, and a Teacher and Department Chair in the Norfolk (Virginia) Public Schools. Since 2013, she has served as an Adjunct Professor at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Executive Director Smith has been recognized as the “Virginia Teacher of Promise”, and was the Norfolk Public Schools “Inspiration Award Winner” in Career & Technical Education.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from Norfolk State University in Virginia; a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Regent University in Virginia; and is currently completing her Doctor of Education in Advanced Educational Leadership from Regent University. She is also certified as an International Baccalaureate Head of School, Certified Data Team Leader, and Certified Mentor.
“Today’s students learn much differently today than they did in the past,” students did just ten years ago,” Executive Director Smith said; “and students are clearly benefitting from an education, like the one they receive at Provost Academy, that utilizes stimulating virtual curriculum designed specifically for them.”
In contrast to other online learning programs, Provost Academy Ohio offers a robust, state-of-the-art curriculum with a strong base in math, science and technology, designed to be engaging, fun and targeted to multiple learning style. All courses can be adapted to fit a student’s individual needs, and content can be rearranged and customized for the individual student. Also, parents and students can easily monitor learning progress, assignments, and grades at a glance on their own personal home page.
Interested students in grades 6 through 12 can enroll in Provost Academy Ohio for the school year starting this fall online at www.oh.provostacademy.com or by phone at 888-262-1052.
Superintendents and public school administrators throughout the United States received the above email on October 2 promoting the Magic Johnson Bridgescape program. By clicking on the image, it takes the reader to a special landing page on the MJBA web site, where the recipient is able to view a video featuring Earvin “Magic” Johnson on the NBC Today Show, and allows them to view and download the new MJBA brochure. Members of the Business Development Sales team will be following up with all school district officials who seek more information.
On September 8, a new Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy will open to students in Chicago Brainerd neighborhood (above). This new center will mark the fifth MJBA location in the city, and bring the total number of students earning their high school diplomas in the program to 1,000 students. During the recently completed school year, more than 100 students received their diplomas, and the Chicago-area MJBAs had a graduation rate of 80%.
In addition to the learning centers being readied for the students, the education teams for all five of the Chicago MJBAs participated in a unique professional development initiative earlier this week. They are piloting a program called WhyTry, which utilizes a series of ten visual metaphors to teach social, emotional, and leadership principles. It is a multi-sensory approach designed to build resiliency and relationships.
The program directors, guidance counselors and teachers participated in two days of interactive, high energy and robust training with a really facilitator from the WhyTry organization. In the future, the MJBA staff will serve as the implementation experts for the pilot this year, and serve as the project leaders at each of their individual sites.
If her family life had collapsed in another state, Makkedah Cutshall might still be in foster care. Rent, utility payments and grocery bills wouldn’t yet be causing her anxiety. “That would be real helpful,” said Cutshall, who aged out of foster care last year at 18. “I’d maybe have a chance to save.”
She has been working with advocates to urge passage of a bill to extend foster-care programs in Ohio to age 21, a change that would offer three more years of assistance to some of the state’s most vulnerable youths. Supporters had hoped that the bill, which also includes “bill of rights” provisions for wards in guardianship cases, would be approved along with the biennial budget. Now, they’re aiming for action yet this year.
“What’s sad, or perhaps moving, is how many foster teens who have aged out are active in this campaign,” said Mark Mecum, executive director of the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies.
"It’s frustrating to get emails from children who ask, 'Has this passed yet? How can I help?'"
Between 1,000 and 1,300 foster youths leave Ohio’s system each year after they turn 18. Staggering numbers of them soon experience homelessness, or become parents, or fall into the justice system.
About 26 states, along with Washington, D.C., already have extended foster care to 21 or are in the process of passing legislation to do so, Mecum said.
The 2016 startup cost for an extended foster-care program would mean about $550,000 in state money next year, then up to $9.7 million in 2017, depending on whether the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has it fully or partly implemented by then. Up to $14.8 million in federal foster-care money also would be budgeted for the program in 2017, for a total of about $24.5 million in state and federal funds that year.
Cutshall, now 19, is just trying to figure out how she can get far enough ahead to thrive. She shares a tidy, spare Reynoldsburg apartment with a roommate and dreams of having a car someday. For now, she rides her bicycle to the bus stop and then faces a two-hour bus trip (including transfers) to her minimum-wage job on the North Side.
“I’m trying not to let myself get down,” she said. “But I would still be with my foster mom if I could.”
The Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy in Bridgeton, New Jersey presented diplomas to its graduating seniors last Thursday evening, concluding the graduation season for EdisonLearning’s partnership schools. More than 340 students have received their high school diplomas this year from Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies in five states – with the total number of graduates from all partnership schools exceeding 600.
Elijah Thompson (second from left in photo) was recognized with the High Honors award for earning the highest GPA in the senior class. Elijah has a unique talent for writing, and is a published author for his poetry which can be found in the Patterson Literacy Review, titled, “I want to be just Like You.” As he has stated, “The only challenge we ever face is the challenge of believing in ourselves.” Elijah now is a believer that he can accomplish his goals, he just has to find the correct path to follow. Elijah plans to attend Cumberland County College in the fall to study Philosophy and Religion.