New Name, Mission For District Alternative Ed Program
After months of gathering input from all stakeholders, including student and parent input, the District has landed on a name for its alternative learning school. The program that currently operates as part of Lakewood City Academy and is housed at the former Franklin Elementary Building will be called the Franklin School of Opportunity beginning July 1.
In January 2019, the District announced that it would not be renewing its state-sponsored charter for LCA when the sponsorship expires on June 30, 2019. The move will allow for greater flexibility in crafting an alternative learning program that fits Lakewood students’ needs without the rigid requirements of the state. The new name gives the students and staff ownership of the program moving forward to help design and implement curriculum and extracurriculars suited to the particular needs of the Franklin School of Opportunities students.
“We have a long way to go with many more pieces to the puzzle, but District leadership has allowed for our team to move in the right direction for what is best for the students. We are excited,” said Lakewood City Academy Executive Director Terri Bornino-Elwell. “From curriculum, to career connections to community involvement, the arts - it is all about making sure when our students leave our schools, they leave with a successful vision in mind.”
Current LCA staff members and Director Bornino-Elwell have visited alternative schools throughout Ohio researching teaching methods and curriculums. A Transformation Task Force has been meeting weekly, discussing transition issues and brainstorming ideas about the structure and content of the new alternative programming.
The team has discussed ways to incorporate more project-based, and career-related learning, boosting the technology presence in the classroom and exploring internship possibilities with local businesses, among other ideas. The group has also formulated a new mission statement:
“Franklin School of Opportunity provides a safe, caring, supportive environment where non-traditional learners are empowered academically and personally to reach their full social, emotional and academic potential. We are a team of educators that embrace diversity, welcome creativity and work together to achieve for all students.”
This will guide everyone’s actions as the process moves toward launching the new program with the 2020-2021 school year.