While several charter schools around the state struggle to meet minimum state educational standards, finally turned the corner this year.
The charter school sponsored by was commended at Monday’s Board of Education meeting at for its recognition as one of the top 10 community schools in the state at last month’s 2011 Student Achievement Fair of the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference.
“We are proud of what we’ve accomplished, and the hard work of our students, teachers and staff has paid off,” said LCA superintendent Terrilyn Bornino-Elwell.
The success hasn’t come easy, though.
In the 2005 school year – its inaugural year – LCA was put on Academic Watch by the Ohio Department of Education after receiving a performance-index score of 73.6.
The next year it raised its score to 82.7, earning a Continuous Improvement rating, where it stayed for four consecutive years, until last school year when it received an Effective rating.
“Just that fact alone,” said Superintendent Jeffrey Patterson in a video shown at the fair, “we have to give a lot of praise and credit to the staff at Lakewood City Academy.”
Beebe said receiving an Effective rating is difficult for a school serving children who too often fall through the cracks at large school districts.
“Their way of learning and their particular circumstances didn’t fit with the pattern of the typical middle schooler or high schooler,” Beebe said. “At a time when so many charter schools are out-and-out failures, this one is really a success.”
Gov. John Kasich expanded a voucher program for charter schools - or community schools, as they're called in Ohio - as part of the state budget he signed in July 2010.
, Lakewood City Shools Treasurer Rick Berdine said the district lost 149 students and $978,000 in state funding from children enrolling in community schools in the 2010-11 school year.