The mission of the Educational Empowerment Group is to promote knowledge, wisdom and understanding to all stakeholders that empowers success in our global society.
The vision of the Educational Empowerment Group is to elevate the experience for students and stakeholders by positively changing the landscape of charter school education.
A Message from the CEO
State Report Cards are in, which presents a true measure of our performance. Based on the data, we have much work to do. I highly encourage you to utilize this valuable data and create a robust academic improvement plan to promote growth among our students. Assess whether your existing plan and action steps are effective and regroup, if necessary. Consult with our Directors of School Operations to assist with strategic planning and goal setting. Further, evaluate factors which directly influence the overall academic performance of our students. Here are a few key data points to analyze:
Classroom Walkthrough Data
Feedback and Coaching
Student Attendance/Tardiness Data
Out-of-Class Disciplinary Incidents
Out-of-School Suspension Percentages
Building Culture Data
Implementation of an Effective PBIS
Number of partners that provide services to students and families
All students possess the capacity to grow academically. It is incumbent upon us to ensure we are doing everything we can to champion achievement. Now is the time to consistently execute beneficial action steps and accept nothing less than 100% effort from teachers and students. As leaders, you must be cheerleaders and accountability partners, as you navigate your school on the journey to success. We are here to support you every step of the way.
Wendy Rydarowicz, Founder and CEO
On Target for Success
Strong leadership breeds favorable results. This statement holds true for a number of EEG school leaders who demonstrated growth in areas critical to success. Our CEO gave special recognition to a distinct group of principals during the monthly leadership training, and we celebrate their accomplishments.
Middlebury Academy, Principal Zografos – Increased by 71 students
Beacon Academy, Principal Isles – Increased by 50 students
Cincinnati Achievement Academy, Principal Vaughn – Increased by 44 students
Academics – K-8 Schools
Main Preparatory Academy, Principal Kari – Best Report Card Rating
Miami Valley Academies, Principal Meeks – Best PI Score
Cincinnati Achievement Academy, Principal Vaughn – Largest Increase in PI Score
Academics – DOP Schools
Stark High School, Principal Hart – Highest PI Score
Riverscape Career Tech High School, Principal Carter – Largest Increase in PI Score
In the Spotlight
“We care. We share. The future, we prepare.”
This statement is not merely a tagline for Main Preparatory Academy; it is actualized every day through the passionate leadership of Principal Sally Kari.
Main Prep is a proud, close-knit family of students and staff making a difference in the neighborhood surrounding Clay Street in Akron, Ohio. The school recently earned an award from the Buckeye Community Hope Foundation for achieving 5 stars in the Progress and Gap Closing components of the State Report Card. Main Prep students exceeded student growth expectations and state standards in closing achievement gaps. Additionally, the school received The Best of Akron Award. Let’s learn a little more about the leader of this great school.
Meet Principal Sally Kari
Principal Kari was motivated to become an educator at the age of fourteen. She worked her first job at a bakery, and she observed how more and more people were unable to give change back without being dependent on a calculator or cash register. “Children have information so readily available to them, yet they still need to acquire the skills to be an active member of society.”
Principal Kari graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Math, Social Science, and Behavioral Science from New York University and earned a master’s in Educational Studies at Western Governors University. She also taught core content area subjects in the country of Jordan for 15 years and collaborated with a team that developed a curriculum with a holistic approach to education.
Principal Kari was asked several questions about Main Preparatory Academy. Take a look at her responses.
What is unique about Main Prep? What sets the school apart from other Akron schools?
Main Prep focuses on the whole child. We work on building the skills that are embedded within a learning standard. Main Prep wants students at our school to be able to go out into the community and be prepared to face the challenges and accept the rewards that come their way.
Explain the culture of Main Prep? How did you build it?
The culture of Main Prep is ultimately a student’s home away from home and a parent’s additional set of hands. Being a single mom of four, I wanted Main Prep to be a place where parents felt confident that their children were cared for in the same manner that the staff would care for their own children or loved ones. Students at Main Prep will hear “mama” many times during the day, and that is because I refer to our students in the same manner that I refer to my own children.
I remember the first conversation I had with Wendy, and she told me to “take ownership” of the building. I reflected on what that statement meant; what it meant to me, and what it would mean to Main Prep. I knew I needed to start this journey off with something I was “good” at, and that is being a mom (at least my children tell me so). When I look at my children and see how respectful and resilient they are, despite all the obstacles we faced, I knew that Main Prep needed to be a place where the staff would “function from the heart.”
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I believe Main Prep’s biggest accomplishment is that we have established a culture that is not competitive but is more cooperative in nature. This is the culture that is felt throughout our building, beginning from our students and extending to our staff. I believe it is this culture that helped us to “narrow the gap” among our students.
What are your goals this year?
Main Prep’s goal last year was to establish the “feeling” for our building, and this year, our goal is to make our building more physically appealing to our students and families.
What else would you like to tell us about Main Prep?
Main Prep students have the mindset that, “A piece of paper does not change someone’s behavior; being in school will change their behavior.”
Main Preparatory Academy had no out-of-school suspensions last year.
“We may all be different fish, but at this school we swim together.” -@Weareteachers
Broadening Our Reach
We are excited to officially welcome two dynamic schools to the EEG team! Liberty Preparatory School, a dropout prevention recovery high school, is a staple in Smithville, Ohio. This school received a school rating of Exceeds Standards on the State Report Card, and EEG is proud to partner with the School Board of Directors, parents, students and staff to further exemplify excellence in education. Congratulations to Principal Joseph Weisend on your new appointment to this awesome school!
Located in beautiful downtown Chillicothe, Ohio, Southern Ohio Career Academy is the only dropout prevention recovery high school in the city. This new school will definitely make a positive difference in the Chillicothe community. Parents and students are excited about this new educational option which will change lives for the better. This school certainly has a promising future. We welcome Founding Principal, Dr. Karla Case to the EEG team! We believe Southern Ohio Career Academy is a budding success in the making.
Urban Agriculture at Castle East
Castle High School – East Campus forged a relationship with the Rid-All Green Partnership, which is an organization located in Cleveland’s Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone. The Rid-All Green Partnership primarily focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles, urban farming, and aquaponics. They also have a community kitchen.
Several positive outcomes stemmed from this community partnership:
By planting crops, students were empowered through a hands-on learning experience while exploring agriculture and sustainability.
Students were exposed to the concept of urban revitalization. The organization’s presence in the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone contributes to revitalizing vacant city land and making productive use of it.
Students discovered sustainable food production. By emphasizing aquaponics and farming, our students, alongside Rid-All Green Partnership, contributes to local food production and sustainability efforts.
Rid-All Green and Castle High School’s partnership plays a crucial role in promoting urban agriculture and viable living practices in Cleveland. Castle East’s focus on education, community involvement and innovative farming techniques makes this partnership an important resource for the community, in terms of both education and tenable food production. Castle East will soon implement an aquaponics program at the school.
Steel Unites with SkillsUSA
The Steel Academy officially enrolled in the nationally recognized career and technical student organization, SkillsUSA. Steel’s CHAMPIONS will have an opportunity to craft their skills in leadership, community and parliamentary skills, as it relates to the construction industry. In addition, the class voted and elected their first CTSO Class President and Secretary.
Steel is building career ready students one day at a time! “Champions are made of Steel!”
Hip Hop Bingo at MVA
The heart of Miami Valley Academies continues to beat for its students and families. Recently, MVA was the place to be, as the school kicked off a fun night of bingo with a twist. Over 18 families enjoyed a free dinner and a night of fun. There was a live DJ who played songs between rounds which motivated everyone to dance. There were also raffles during intermission, in which the grand prize was a crockpot. Families won resourceful items, and the night ended with a family line dance. What an innovative way to promote family engagement and build relationships!
New Opportunities at OCA
Principal Matt Demosky received the honor of speaking at the Annual Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Buckeye Conference. Principal Demosky spoke on the topic of Diversity in Construction and highlighted OCA’s recent success and positive momentum. The Annual Buckeye Conference is hosted to train financial leaders in the construction industry.
Ohio Construction Academy’s partnership with the CFMA-Central Ohio Chapter created awareness of the school among construction industry leaders in the state of Ohio. Construction employers and companies have expressed an interest to collaborate, partner, and give back to OCA. As a result of this event, these employers are interested in hiring OCA’s current students and future graduates. Some companies desire to partner with OCA to offer financial literacy courses to prepare students for entrepreneurships. Other attendees and construction partners/sponsors/employers expressed interest in making donations and contributing financially to the OCA program in the future. The CFMA-Central Ohio Chapter also donates funds to the school each year, of which the school purchases tools for all graduates.
New Welding Program
Welding is underway at OCA, adding a third skilled trade program at the school. Students are very enthusiastic about the new welding program. The OCA Welding Crew has already passed Welding Safety 101, and we anticipate great success from this additional program. Our students will have the skill set to compete in the workforce, and their competencies in the trades will place them in high demand.
Ohio Construction Academy continues to lead the way in workforce development among high school students in Columbus, OH, and in doing so, the school is bringing its mantra to life: “At OCA, we are your blueprint for success!”
The Bistro Experience
The Stark High School Culinary Arts students did not disappoint, as they catered a luncheon for special visitors. These promising students transformed a regular classroom into an impeccable dining experience.
Two board members from A+ Arts Academy visited Beacon Academy for a guided tour, and our culinary arts students, under the direction of Instructor Ashley Salapack, provided The Bistro Experience. There were beautifully decorated tables, delicious food and wonderful service. We are proud of our culinary arts students! They are definitely successes in the making. We also give a special salute to Principal Carly Hart for her guidance and leadership. We expect great career opportunities for our students through this excellent CTE program.
The Health Corner
Viruses, Viruses, GO AWAY! Flu season is upon us, and Live Well, Work Well has strategies to keep us in good health. You will discover valuable suggestions and tips found in this month’s issue.