Akron Children’s Hospital commits more than $250,000 to North High School health academy

The Akron Public Schools and Akron Children’s Hospital are expanding their partnership to further develop North High School’s Academy of Health and Human Services.

Superintendent David James announced a $250,000 commitment from Children’s at his annual State of the Schools address Wednesday during the Akron Press Club’s luncheon with about 400 attendees at Quaker Station. The hospital also is committing $150,000 for in-kind services that will include internships, teacher externships on the Children’s campus, white-coat experiences, speakers, job shadowing and other programs.

James said he will recommend the Board of Education rename the academy Akron Children’s Hospital Academy of Health and Human Services at North High School.

The health academy and the Freshman Academy were launched at the start of this school year as part of the College and Career Academies program that eventually will move districtwide. In the Freshman Academy, all ninth-graders participate in a career fair and college visit. The next year, they select one of the eight pathways in either the health academy or the Academy of Global Technology and Business, which will launch in the fall. The health academy offers options in allied health, biomedical science, early childhood education and health-care operations. The global technology academy offers entrepreneurship and marketing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; information support and services; and programming and software development.

In a video shown during James’ speech, North students talked about which career pathway they were choosing and why.

“It is my goal to make sure that Yalina, Kusum, DavYan, Hsa, Jade, Chandra, Lucas and Susmita can realize their dreams,” James said after the video. He asked the students to stand. “Folks, these are real people, just like you and me, who have dreams of what their world can be.

“I can’t do this alone; our schools can’t do this alone; our entire community is responsible for the success of these students.”

The district is hoping to increase partnerships with other businesses and groups.

“It is my sincere hope that other organizations, many with solid relationships with Akron Public Schools, will deepen their relationships with us,” James said.

The district is working with Ford Next Generation Learning, ConxusNEO and the GAR Foundation to develop a master plan for academies at all other district high schools.

The superintendent also took time to address current events.

“In my 55 years on this planet, I have seldom seen so much controversy at the national level,” James said. “I want our national leaders to focus on helping students avoid and eliminate student loan debt, allowing high school students who take college-level courses to be eligible for Pell Grants nationwide. I want all parents to have quality choices, whether that choice be a traditional public school or a charter school. I want student testing that directly correlates to college and career readiness and removes the stigma of failure in the current ‘high stakes’ system.”

He also spoke on immigration.

“We as a nation have overcome so much, yet we have so far to go,” James said. “Today I think about our refugee and immigrant population here in Akron, from places like Nepal, Afghanistan, Congo or Iraq and others, people who are escaping oppression, coming here with the hope of a brighter future.

“These parents show up to our schools, these parents are trying to fit in, and these parents want a new start, without someone looking over their shoulders,” he said. “Parents who want the best opportunity for their children. I do understand the balance between security and opening our arms to help those in need. The America that I believe in can do both.

“In compliance with existing laws and barring any further federal action, we will continue to provide educational services to all students, regardless of immigration status. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender identity or national origin, and students will not be barred from enrolling in the Akron Public Schools on the basis of their citizenship or immigration status, or that of their parents or guardians.”

Other topics covered in the address:

• James thanked LeBron James and his foundation for his continued commitment to the Akron Public Schools.

• The district will continue to seek input from the community and students on the merger of Garfield and Kenmore high schools, Kent and Innes middle schools and Bettes and Harris elementary schools through Project Ujima.

• Roughly 50 percent of current high school juniors have already met the state’s new graduation requirements. Eighteen percent are highly likely to meet them, leaving about 32 percent needing assistance. “Our principals and teachers are doing everything in their power to get each one of those students to graduate,” James said.

• The district is working with King, Resnik and Portage Path elementary schools to become International Baccalaureate schools.


Read original article here.

Thomas, Monica. (2017, February 15). Akron Children’s Hospital commits more than $250,000 to North High School health academy. Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved from