Give a read to the new public school
basketball star LeBron James is backing to serve at-risk kids in Akron.

Imagine.

It’s a part of the Akron School District. It is NOT a charter school. It is NOT a private school.

They aren’t skimming students from motivated families who might already be achieving in school. They are SEEKING out students who need help in reading and math.

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There will be long school days and intensive tutoring.

But that’s not all.

But it will also focus on factors outside the classroom.

Services will help parents with stress related to their struggles. There will be extra activities to keep kids out of trouble in idle time.

There will be family services, including job placement assistance and a food bank. James remembers the freedom a bicycle gave him as a child to escape dangerous neighborhoods. Every student will receive a bicycle.

The I Promise school embodies James’ pledge not to ever forget where he came from.

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Imagine if the Walton Foundation didn’t spend $8 million to open yet another an unproven charter school amid a neighborhood overbuilt with school seats with an enrollment system likely to attract children more likely to succeed. Imagine if it poured this kind of effort into one of the Little Rock School District’s real public schools, bound to educate a poor, transient population overstocked with struggling families with scant history of educational achievement, never mind bus fare or lunch money.

Imagine if we had a LeBron James instead of an organization paying a lobbyist $237,000 a year to encourage people to flee Little Rock schools for charters or any other school district they could find.

Imagine. From the article:

The bottom floor of the building features a mural of James, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Martin Luther King Jr.

The walls of the school are lined with photos of James and children at foundation events. Students will be stocked with school supplies, and teachers will have the tools they need, including a faculty lounge stocked with snacks and beverages and access to workout trainers.

Other details:

The classrooms will hold 20 students for every teacher, and 12 teachers have been hired for the 2018-19 school year.

There are 43 academic staffers, including a principal, assistant principal, four intervention specialists, tutor, English as a second language teacher, music instructor and a gym teacher.

IPS is a certified STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) school.
The school day is long – 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and so is the school year, lasting July 30-May 17 – and there will be a seven-week summer school.

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Students will be served breakfast, lunch and a snack daily.