TPS parents excited about new single gender high school - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

TPS parents excited about new single gender high school

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 Seventh-grader Genesis Warith has a good idea of what a leader is.  Now he's taking the next steps to become one.  The Martin Luther King Jr. Academy student is the first to sign up for Toledo's first single gender high school called the Leadership Academy.

"I feel good knowing I'm the first person to sign up for the new school," says Warith.

 It opens this fall for seventh, eighth and ninth graders, and becomes a full middle and high school by fall 2017.   The Leadership Academy will take over the current Jones Elementary School.  District leaders say the school will take about 200 students this fall, and eventually grow to a total of about 400 students.  Boys and girls will attend separate classes, but have scheduled activities together.

After the Leadership Academy opens, the MLK Jr. and Ella P. Stewart Academies will turn into K-6 schools, cutting the seventh and eighth grade.  Students from MLK, Stewart and Jones Elementary will also have first preference for enrollment, but the Leadership Academy is open to all Toledo students.

"When those students graduate, they graduate on time, they graduate career ready and graduate to be the leaders that they're meant to be," says Jim Gault with Toledo Public Schools.  "We are going to want students and parents who have a high interest in their education.  We are going to want students who are willing to work hard not only in school, but also in community service." 

Besides the leadership focus, there will also be a strong emphasis on community service, business and entrepreneurship.   Parents of students who already attend single gender schools are excited to see the model expand.  Spaces will be limited to about 60 to 70 students per grade, and TPS officials are recruiting students now to enroll.  They hope to get major support from parents and students before the end of the 2013-14 school year.

"Single gender opened a door," says Ella P. Stewart Academy P.T.O. President, Prudence Hicks.  "This is a gift, Ella P. Stewart is a jewel in the middle of the inner city."

District officials hope to repeat the success of other single focus schools like the Toledo early college high school and technology academy.  They hope to keep more parents and students on board with TPS.

Dr. Romules Durant will hold two additional community meetings about the new school.

Wednesday, May 7 - Samuel M. Jones at Gunckel Park Elementary, 430 Nebraska Ave., at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 7 - Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls, 707 Avondale Ave., at 7 p.m.


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