The 2016-2017 school year has been over for a few weeks in the Akron Public Schools, and now they look ahead to the fall. However, they will do so with six schools consolidated to three, which means some will be without jobs.

David James, the superintendent of Akron Public Schools, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss these changes. The closures of Kenmore High School, Kent Middle School, and Bettes Elementary will result in over 70 job cuts, all due to consolidation. However, these administrators may not be completely out of jobs due to what is called “priority transfer.” According to James, there is a fluid process where the affected teachers or other administrators, based on seniority, can fill other positions where those in place had either resigned or retired.

As for the Kenmore-Garfield merger, the students at the now-former Garfield High School will move into the Kenmore building in the fall. Then as the old Garfield building gets demolished, plans for the new school construction will be underway.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 05:43

Akron Public Schools Announces Layoffs

The Akron Board of Education approved layoffs at their meeting Monday night, in the wake of the closures of Kenmore High School, Kent Middle School, and Bettes Elementary.

Those staff reductions consist of three admin positions, 31 teachers, 35 tutors, five office support staff, and more. Superintendent David James, says of the cuts, "In the end, this is what necessitates (being fiscally responsible with taxpayer money) for Akron Public Schools."

See the full statement from Akron Public Schools below: 

--  

Due to three building closures (Kenmore High School, Kent Middle School and Bettes Elementary) and the district’s continued efforts to operate in a fiscally responsible manner, the Akron Board of Education approved staff reductions for the 2017-18 school year at its regularly scheduled board meeting tonight, Monday, June 26, 2017.

The areas of reduction include:

- Three administrative positions

- Thirty-one teaching positions

- Thirty-five tutor positions

- Five office support positions

- Thirteen custodial services positions

- Three full-time, hearing impaired interpreter positions

- Three part time, hearing impaired interpreter positions

APS has already made numerous reductions through attrition (e.g., retirements, promotions and resignations). As additional openings occur, staff will be eligible for recall per their collective bargaining agreements and board policy. Superintendent David W. James said, after (Monday's) vote, “We must continue to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars. In the end, that is what necessitates this eventuality for Akron Public Schools. It is most unfortunate that we must let go of outstanding educators and staff due to our economic position. My hope is that staff will be recalled to vacancies that occur to enable them to continue their service to our students and families.”

Published in Local
On Wednesday, the superintendent of Akron Public Schools addressed the state of the district over the last year and what is to come for the rest of 2017.

David James joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to recap what was brought up at Quaker Station. Among the topics were the health academy, the financial state of the district, and the update on the Kenmore-Garfield project.

A point of discussion was the research into students who may not necessarily be college material. James has been looking to help keep these students interested in the trades engaged and career oriented.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Friday, 13 January 2017 05:12

West Thornton Victim ID'd

The name of the 17 year old shot and killed on West Thornton Street Wednesday has been released -- and the Akron schools are mourning. Ernest Anderson, Jr. was killed, a 19-year old wounded after an argument.

The Summit County Medical Examiner reported Anderson died from gunshot wounds to the head and the torso.

Anderson was a student at East High School; the district released a video of Anderson working

Akron superintendent David James said ""we are deeply aggrieved by this tragic episode. Another student, another life filled with promise has been extinguished by violence. We are thinking of his family and the entire East CLC community." 

 

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 08 November 2016 08:53

AUDIO: APS Superintendent Faces The Community

In the continuing saga of the Akron Public Schools shakeup, members of the community have a long list of questions. Former mayor Don Plusquellic had one of those lists.

David James, the superintendent of APS, reiterated his thoughts on the consolidation on the Ray Horner Morning Show. James maintains his initial thoughts in that schools like Kenmore and Garfield cannot continue to operate if they’re less than half capacity.

The state of Ohio will foot the bill for 59% of the new CLC, and James says they will do their best to maintain the history and legacy of Kenmore and Garfield schools. In terms of the new site, the superintendent believes the issue is finding vacant land at a low price, if not free.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

The rumors of potential mergers in the Akron Public School district have swirled for some time, and now the news has been confirmed. Most notably, Garfield and Kenmore High Schools will join as one in the near future. David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss this particular merger. James and city council president Marilyn Keith have previously discussed plans for a brand new CLC, and the tenants would be the schools with a diminished population. At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, Kenmore High School is at 33% capacity. According to James, the project will cost $58 million, and 59% of it will be paid for by the state. Team meetings on where to build the new CLC will begin in 2017, as the plan is to find a site equal distance between Kenmore and Garfield.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
The proposals on what to do with Akron Public Schools’ consolidation continues, and six options are on the table being carefully reviewed. The state of Ohio will only fund one high school, which should have a capacity of over 1,000, and that would mean two of the smaller schools will have to be merged.

APS superintendent David James and treasurer Ryan Pendleton joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to recap Monday night’s meeting with Akron city council. James says the engineers are actively searching for property to build this new school, but due to high costs, the facility will most likely be constructed on APS property, specifically Garfield.

Pendleton says he feels excited about giving the Garfield and Kenmore areas new technology-rich facilities.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

What schools will be closing? What schools will merge?

Those questions have been on the minds of Akronites for months as the Akron Public Schools decide how to proceed with the plan to build new buildings in the face of reduced funding from the state. A new option, the sixth option presented to the public, would lead to the mergers of Kenmore and Garfield High Schools along with the consolidation of Kent and Innes CLCs at Innes and the consolidation of Bettes and Harris CLCs at Harris. Superintendent David James joined Jasen to talk about the new option and when a final decision could be made.

Published in Jasen Sokol
The finishing touches are going into the new Firestone High School. Though not everything will be completed by the first day of school, according to the superintendent of Akron Public Schools, the bulk of the project will be all done.

David James, the APS superintendent, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to gloss over the Firestone/Litchfield project. James says this has been a process directly from listening to the community as far as input in the school. He believes this building will serve a larger purpose for the surrounding community, not just for the students.

The open house at the new facility will be on August 28th.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Some tough questions lay ahead for Akron Public Schools in the near and distant future. APS brass understands the concerns from the community on the future of the local schools, but can the buildings function with such decreased enrollment?

Superintendent of Akron Public Schools, David James, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to recap his address at Kenmore High School from last night. Enrollment, or lack thereof, was at the forefront of the conversation, with talks of closing or merging schools being mentioned. A possibility brought up was having Kenmore merge with Innes CLC, among other brainstorms.

James was asked why not keep the status quo. The superintendent said some of these schools are only at half capacity, and by merging the students into a magnet school, it will help cut costs and save taxpayer money. James also said they will receive state funding from the state level soon.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Friday, 24 June 2016 06:08

VIDEO Akron Loves The King

So much to share from last night -- Akron as you've never seen it or heard it, all for King James.

13509110 776239842511746 5668483443749753683 n

Some accounts pegged the crowd at 30,000 people but others were in the 20,000-25,000 range after Lock 3 topped capacity of more than 7,000 packed in standing room only for the LeBron James Hometown Hero Celebration sponsored by the City of Akron and LeBron James Family Foundation.

Overflow crowds on South Main Street went into Canal Park and packed every seat to watch the ceremony on the stadium's big video screen, then enjoyed the fireworks show at the conclusion.

It was an all-Akron affair and more personal, unlike the massive parade and ceremony that drew 1.3 million people to Cleveland Wednesday. Local performers included the Miller South Choir; speakers included Mayor Dan Horrigan, who renamed the stretch of South Main from West Market south through downtown as "King James Way" to formative coaches Dru Joyce II and Keith Dambrot.

Others such as Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James noted the transformative impact on Akron LeBron's had, including programs for local elementary and secondary school students but also millions allocated to support scholarships at the University of Akron.

The Kenmore High School football team was on hand in their stylish Nike uniforms -- gifts thanks to LeBron last year.

One note for the summer: LeBron announced he will not take part in the basketball competition at Rio this summer, opting instead for rest. It's not like The King has anything to prove in the Olympics; even there, he makes history with two gold and one bronze medal with Team USA, one of only three players to play three Olympics. He's also the Team USA basketball all-time leading scorer, too.

 

Published in Local
In the last year, Akron Public Schools, like many districts, encountered its share of negatives, but the positives have been quite impressive.

David James, the superintendent of Akron Public Schools, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to review his State of the Schools Address from Tuesday. James touched on the amount of growth and progress he has seen from the students across the board. Compared to other urban area school districts, APS has seen their test scores rise.

James took tours of the schools, and believes the improvements in the classrooms are “a testament to the teachers.”

A negative that was mentioned during the speech was the downtrend in the graduation percentage, but James also said he is impressed with the amount of scholarships.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

 

WAKR's Ray Horner talks to the Superintendent of Akron Public Schools, David James. James explains what plans have been made for the district. He tells Ray what how the consolidation will help save money and help the district in the long run.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER