King CLC the Latest to Work Toward IB

APS Expands IB Programming
Posted on 04/01/2019
Image of Student Board Member Luke Buckingham(Ariel Hakim for Side Leader)

New business at the Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education March 25 meeting was to proceed with an application for King Community Learning Center (CLC) to join the International Baccalaureate (IB) primary years program.

“They’ve done a lot of hard work, and we’re ready to move it on to the next level,” said Superintendent David James.

King is following in the footsteps of West Akron elementary CLCs Case and Resnik, as well as Litchfield and Firestone CLCs, in offering the rigorous IB curriculum.

“Thank you. It’s still a journey, but if you saw the excitement and enthusiasm of the kids and the teachers, it is well worth the efforts. We’re very excited to keep moving forward with this,” said Mary Dean, King’s principal.

In other developments, board member Patrick Bravo said the district’s move to its new administrative offices located at 10 N. Main St. is still on track to take place next month.

A former SummaCare building the district purchased for $9.2 million in late 2017, the new APS headquarters is an upgrade from the more than 100-year-old current office buildings nearby at 70 N. Broadway St. and 65 Steiner Ave.

To help visitors navigate the new building, the board hired two engagement specialists — Sonil Haslam and Jessica Robb — who were introduced at the meeting. Both have an April 1 start date and annual salaries set at $43,400, as recommended by the superintendent.

A ribbon-cutting is expected to take place in May.

Bravo also said he’s excited online school registration will be available soon, but there are still some pieces to get in place and some beta testing to be done.

While not totally eliminating packets the district mails out to parents every year, online registration will start to cut down on the massive use of paper.

“It’s not only a convenience and benefit for parents but also a cost savings for the district,” said Bravo.

In other business, the board approved entering a service agreement with Kiko Co. for auctioning off obsolete properties, with the company to receive payment not to exceed 8 percent of sales.

Bravo said district officials have been working on “packaging” some of the district’s unused buildings together for sale.

“We are finally moving forward on getting some of those buildings out for auction and trying to get rid of those and monetize where we can,” he said.

Also at the meeting, requests to address the board included Athletic Advisory Board to the Board of Education member Andrea West, who spoke on behalf of the Buchtel CLC community in regards to the Ellet-Buchtel field turf initiative. While placing turf at Ellet CLC has been made an initial priority in the group’s five-year plan, she said, she asked the board to also consider installing lights at Buchtel in that plan so practice fields can be used in the evenings.

The board also met in executive session twice during the regular meeting, first in the early part of the meeting with Jeremy and Christy Lile on the agenda as having requested to address the board privately, with no related action following.

Later, prior to adjourning the meeting, the board met again privately to consider discipline of a public employee or official. Afterward, they approved a resolution on a last-chance agreement with an East High School teacher.

In other action, the board approved:
  • the acceptance of a $2.8 million allocation from the State Department of Education for auxiliary services, including for supplies, materials, equipment, utilities and personnel costs throughout the district, a $112,000 increase over the district’s budgeted allocation;
  • a $150,000 budget for this year’s secondary summer school program;
  • a three-year contract for general liability, umbrella, crime, cyber, foreign liability, property, student athletic, business manager’s bond and fleet, boiler and machinery insurance coverage for a total anticipated cost of $2 million; and
  • revisions to APS school policies regarding emergency removal of students, as well as removal, suspension and expulsion of students to reflect current state requirements in House Bill 318.
Also, purchases approved at the meeting included:
  • 1,400 HP Chromebooks and hard shell cases for $378,000;
  • 12 mowers for the building and grounds department for $90,000; and
  • 13 walk-through metal detectors and 17 hand-held scanners for use district-wide for $45,000.
The next APS board meeting is scheduled for April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway St.

Image of Luke Buckingham, Student Board Member
(Firestone Community Learning Center student Luke Buckingham sat in on the Akron Public Schools Board of Education meeting March 25 as a student board member. This is the first year the board has had students serve in that capacity, and Buckingham is one of eight students district-wide chosen for the role.)
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