The vision of I CAN SCHOOLS is to create a culture of high expectations for behavior and academics through a rigorous, research-based curriculum and a focus on achievement.
By RHONDA CROWDER
After only one year in existence, both schools under the I CAN SCHOOLS umbrella received “Continuous Improvement” on the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) report card.
At the beginning of the inaugural school year, all students were administered a baseline assessment to determine their current skill level. Based upon the results, both schools were in “Academic Emergency” – the lowest rating an Ohio public school could receive on a report card. But, after only eight months of instruction, the schools improved two state report card designations.
Actually, the schools will not receive a report card for the 2010- 2011 school year because ODE does not give report cards to first year schools. However, if report cards were distributed, both schools would receive the “Continuous Improvement” rating.
At the same time, this is viewed as a tremendous feat since new schools are not expected to perform at these levels.
According to Marshall Emerson, co-founder of I CAN SCHOOLS, their preliminary scores released in June indicate that the two schools outperformed their expectations.
“Not only that, they did better than my kids at E Prep in my first year – and I only had one class of sixth graders,” said Emerson, who was among the team who helped establish Cleveland’s Entrepreneurial Preparatory School (E-Prep) several years ago, during a recent interview.
“No other Ohio K-8 program has scored like our schools in their first year of operation. We are changing the face of education in Cleveland, setting standards, and improving the lives of our students and families – we are on our way toward accomplishing our mission.”
Emerson went on to say, “It doesn’t take 8 to 9 years to establish a great school.”
I CAN SCHOOLS is a Cleveland-based, non-profit charter management organization, currently operating three programs – Northeast Ohio College Preparatory on Tremont Avenue, Cleveland College Preparatory School on Fleet Avenue, and University of Cleveland Preparatory School at East 40th and Chester.
The latter, a high school, is opening this month.
Tuition free, all I CAN Schools offer extended days and school year coupled with high-quality, college preparatory courses. They also provide free transportation from anywhere in the city, which decrease tardy and absentee rates.
The vision of I CAN SCHOOLS is to create a culture of high expectations for behavior and academics through a rigorous, research-based curriculum and a focus on achievement. The goal of I CAN SCHOOLS is to create a true conduit to college that begins in Kindergarten, extends through high school, and ends with acceptance to and graduation from a four year college or university.
They expect 100 percent of I CAN SCHOOLS graduates to positively affect change in their local communities while making a contribution to the global society.“These results show that I CANS SCHOOLS is closing the academic achievement gap. We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our leaders, teacher, students and families,” said Emerson.