The opioid epidemic has resulted in virtually countless casualties across the nation, in Ohio, and right here in Akron. One of the unfortunate realities of drug addiction is that it spares no one in its path, claiming victims of all ages, including high school students.
Faced with the staggering statistics, the Rite Aid Foundation is launching the Prescription Drug Safety Program, a new innovative digital course with the goal of educating high school students on drug abuse prevention, safe prescription drug practices, and more, at Akron-area high schools.
"This is such an important program, and we're excited that we can do something here in Ohio," which Rite Aid Foundation Director Tracy Henderson pointed out is one of the hardest hit states in the U.S.
Rachel DeMaio was a junior in high school when she accidentally overdosed after taking a pill laced with carfentanil on October 28, 2016, in the arms of her mother Cindy in their Akron home. It was that date, according to Cindy, that "Rachel's Angels" was formed, a local organization, run by both Cindy and Rachel's high school friends, aimed at educating young people on the dangers of drugs.
(Cindy DeMaio, Rachel's Angels)
About 20 student members of "Rachel's Angels" were on hand at the unveiling of the new Prescription Drug Safety Program at Firestone CLC Monday, February 25th, giving a crash course on the new program.
(Charles Tyler, Sr. at Firestone CLC, showing the Prescription Drug Safety Program.)
On hand for the unveiling of the new program were local leaders including Mayor Dan Horrigan and Ohio House Minority Leader, and Firestone graduate, Emilia Sykes, who both agreed that fighting the opioid epidemic starts with young students, who can then help spread the word about the dangers of drug addiction and more. U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (pictured below), who was also there at Firestone, said to the students attending the program Monday, "We try to provide opportunity and you take advantage of it; and this program is about making sure that you can avoid the traps that are so readily available to you in today's society. Be smart. Use your head. We need you."
The Rite Aid Foundation has committed $1.7 Million over the next three years to the Prescription Drug Safety program that they say will expand to more than 400 schools across several states within that timeframe.
See the full press release on the new Prescription Drug Safety progam launching at Akron Public Schools below:
Camp Hill, Pa. (February 25, 2019) — In an effort to help address adolescent drug abuse and misuse in Ohio, The Rite Aid Foundation is bringing the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention, to Akron-area high schools.
The program, developed by EVERFI, the nation’s leading education technology innovator used in one in seven schools nationwide, will be made available to high schools in Summit and Stark counties, at no cost. Representatives of The Rite Aid Foundation, Congressman Tim Ryan and Akron Public Schools announced the launch of the new program during a press conference and demonstration at Firestone Community Learning Center.
“The abuse of prescription drugs and opioids is a serious national crisis that threatens the health, safety and wellbeing of our young people,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “One of Rite Aid’s core values is to be a caring neighbor, involved in meaningful ways in the communities we serve, especially if it involves improving the health and wellbeing of children. We are proud to introduce this critical prevention education program and provide Akron-area students with the skills and knowledge to prevent the dangerous cycle of abuse before it occurs.”
The Prescription Drug Safety program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to empower high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn the facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
Ohio is arguably one of the states hardest hit by prescription drug abuse and the opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths. In 2017, there were 5,111 opioid-related overdose deaths in Ohio—more than double the national average. To help combat the opiate crisis, Ohio is investing more than $1 billion a year to help battle drug abuse and addiction at the state and local levels.
“There isn’t a community in the United States that hasn’t been affected by the opioid epidemic. It demands our full attention and requires not only treatment but prevention as well. It’s partnerships like Rite Aid and EVERFI that will help in educating our young people to make safe, sound, and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. With this kind of outreach and awareness, we can tackle the drug abuse ravaging our nation and prevent any more opioid overdose deaths from ever happening again,” said Congressman Tim Ryan, co-chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus and member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic.
Akron Public Schools is implementing the six-lesson online Prescription Drug Safety program as part of the health education program. Firestone Community Learning Center is the first Akron-area school to integrate the program into its curriculum. Over the next year, a total of twenty local high schools will activate the program.
“The education and enrichment of our children is the driving force within our community. We must equip them to become visionaries of change and contribute to our community in a positive way,” said superintendent of Akron Public Schools, David W. James. “We are extremely grateful to The Rite Aid Foundation for helping us educate our students about such a serious issue. We know this new program will empower them to make healthy decisions and become positive role models in the community.”
In addition to the activation in Akron-area high schools, as part of its commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for children and teens, The Rite Aid Foundation, through its KidCents program, will also fund the introduction of the Prescription Drug Safety program to high schools in Lucas County, Ohio as well as several communities in Washington, California, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation made a three-year, $1.7 million commitment to the Prescription Drug Safety program, which is expected to reach more than 400 high schools.
Through the KidCents program, members of Rite Aid's loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. Members can also choose to direct their change to a specific KidCents charity by visiting www.kidcents.com. Through KidCents’ Step Up Fund, The Rite Aid Foundation provides a matching donation of $500 for every $500 a charity raises in contributions through the wellness+ rewards program, up to a maximum of $5,000. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $52 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with fiscal 2018 annual revenues of $21.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at www.riteaid.com.
Akron Public Schools (APS) enrolls more than 21,000 students and employs 3,000 teaching and non-teaching professionals in Northeastern Ohio. The district, one of the state's largest and most diverse, covers 62 square miles in a city of 195,000. APS educators are committed to rigorous teaching and learning, safe learning centers and community engagement to prepare young people to be well rounded and ready for the challenges of learning that follow in life. The goal of APS is to be the #1 urban school system in the United States. For more information about Akron Public Schools, visit AkronSchools.com.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas with more than 4,300 partners in all 50 U.S. States and Canada. EVERFI is an industry convener that builds Networks to tackle the toughest social issues, including the Campus Prevention Network, a coalition of higher education institutions committed to campus sexual assault and alcohol abuse prevention; and the Financial Capability Network, a coalition of industry leaders dedicated to improving financial outcomes for communities across the country. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, and The Rise Fund.
Winter Storm Harper dumped more than a foot of snow across most of Akron Saturday and into Sunday, leaving a lot of residents stuck over the weekend.
It's understandable, especially when it comes all at once as the snow did over the weekend.
Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday for Akron Public Schools and Tuesday was declared a "snow day" by Superintendent David James. By Wednesday, students were ready to head back to school, but the city wasn't. By the end of the day Wednesday, a report from APS spokesman Mark Williamson was that a total of 19 school buses wound up stuck in snow and needed assistance getting out. (Update: Thursday morning 8 more school buses were stuck, according to Williamson.) Williamson said not only is it up to the city to clear the streets, but it's also up to Akron residents to clear their sidewalks, to help the students who walk to school get their safely. Otherwise, Williamson tells us, there are students walking in the streets, which is obviously dangerous.
Back to the roads, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan spoke with the Ray Horner Morning Show on 1590 WAKR, saying there is no excuse for the excess snow that remained through the holiday and into Wednesday, and that the city is doing everything to prevent a repeat.
Read the full statement from the City of Akron below:
First, an apology. We have failed to provide a timely level of service to all City streets in response to this storm, and we are sorry.
We apologize to the Akron community for the inconvenience and frustration our response has caused. The level of service we provided has fallen short of what our residents rightly expect. While we have devoted 100% of our available City resources 24/7 to plow and salt all primary, secondary and residential streets following Winter Storm Harper, the results of these efforts have been unacceptable. We appreciate the patience the Akron community has extended this week. We have heard your concerns and we will do better in the future.
Mayor Horrigan has directed the City to immediately reassess every policy, procedure, agreement and route and to make necessary changes to our approach to ensure that future snow events are addressed effectively and efficiently from day one.
What we are doing right now:
The City has deployed every single vehicle and piece of City equipment capable of removing snow and ice to work to clear City streets and plow every residential neighborhood as soon as possible. The City has deployed 7 private contractors to augment the City’s efforts and plow residential streets in tandem with our crews. They will use graders, backhoes, plow trucks and bobcats to increase our snow removal capabilities. We have established emergency mandatory overtime with the ultimate goal of opening every street in Akron before the next weather event. The County of Summit is also assisting with available truck and equipment. Public Service has called in all city workers from Sewer, Water and Public Works that are not in plow trucks to start the process of cleaning storm inlets. All together there are more than 100 vehicles currently activated within Akron to remove snow and ice from city streets.
The City will be enforcing the parking ban when necessary to clear streets. Some cars will be towed. Residents are reminded not to park on the street until the ban is lifted and all streets are clear. Due to rainfall and melting snow, there are areas of standing water. Drivers are reminded to drive slowly and cautiously in these areas.
The City has been experiencing intermittent failure of both the online 3-1-1 portal and our 3-1-1 phone line. However, every City street is on the list to be plowed, whether a 3-1-1 request is received or not. Streets are prioritized based on traffic patterns, and all streets will be plowed as soon as possible.
What is coming next:
Winter Strom Indra and freezing temperatures are on the way. Icy streets are expected in the coming days. Residents are urged to prepare accordingly. The parking ban on primary streets will likely remain in place until the accumulation from Winter Storm Indra has been cleared. The City’s all-hands-on-deck approach, including the use of private contractors will continue through the next storm event.
On Wednesday, the Akron Public School District announced its new partnership with Summa Health as part of the College And Career Academies of Akron at Buchtel CLC.
As part of the agreement, the Summa Health Academy of Leadership and Innovation will offer real-world learning opportunities and instruction for students who are interested in the health care industry.
For more on the College and Career Academies of Akron visit the Akron Public Schools Website.
(Akron Public Schools) Today Akron Public Schools (APS) formally welcomed Stark State College (Stark State) as a sister college to Kenmore-Garfield High School. The partnership is part of the growing community of businesses and organizations engaging in the new College & Career Academies for APS high schools. More than 100 business and community leaders gathered at Stark State College for the announcement.
Modeled after "Sister Cities" that were launched by President Dwight Eisenhower's administration in 1956 to help cities share best practices, a sister college will give support and provide resources to APS students as they explore various college and career options. Stark State College will work with teachers at Kenmore-Garfield to develop career-themed classroom content; design and present "problem-based" learning opportunities; provide parent and student workshops and assistance on the college admissions process; and offer valuable enrichment opportunities.
APS Superintendent David James said at today's announcement, "We are thrilled that Stark State College has agreed to be the first named partner for Kenmore-Garfield High School. Its partnership will enhance the academic experience for our students and guide students and families on a path toward higher learning."
Kenmore-Garfield Principal Kathryn Rodocker added, "Whether a student's path is employment, enrollment in college or enlistment in the military, Stark State College will help ensure that he or she is prepared."
"We welcome this new partnership with Akron Public Schools as an extension of our current collaborative efforts with the district," said Stark State College President Para M. Jones, Ph.D. "Stark State College is proud to work with Kenmore-Garfield as a 'sister school' to support college and career readiness and success for all students. We look forward to working with students, teachers, parents and staff to achieve these important goals, which align with APS career academy goals and the economic development plan for Akron and Summit County."
The partnership between Akron Public Schools and Stark State College was formed with the help of United Way of Summit County. Last year, APS announced that United Way would serve as a link between the College and Career Academies of Akron and local businesses to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and to strengthen the education-to-employment pipeline in Summit County.
"This partnership represents an incredible opportunity," said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. "More than ever before, post-secondary education and career training are essential to the success of our youth. By helping prepare the students of Kenmore-Garfield for college, Stark State is bringing them one step closer to a successful career, a stable livelihood and the chance to make their mark on the future of our community."
APS was designated a Ford Next Generation Learning Community in May 2017. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is supporting the transformation of public high schools into career-themed academies to better prepare students for college and professional success in today's competitive global economy. College and Career Academies of Akron are supported by the following key strategic partners: GAR Foundation, United Way of Summit County, ConxusNEO, Summit Education Initiative and Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.
About Akron Public Schools:
Akron Public Schools (APS) enrolls more than 21,000 students and employs 3,000 teaching and non-teaching professionals in Northeastern Ohio. The district, one of the state's largest and most diverse, covers 62 square miles in a city of 195,000. APS educators are committed to rigorous teaching and learning, safe learning centers, and community engagement to prepare young people to be well rounded and ready for the challenges of learning that follow in life. The goal of APS is to be the #1 urban school system in the United States. For more information about Akron Public Schools, visit AkronSchools.com.
About Stark State College:
Stark State College focuses on affordable, quality higher education that propels students to career success or launches them toward advanced degrees. The College offers more than 230 associate degrees and certificates in business, education, engineering technologies, health, human and public services, information technology, liberal arts, mathematics, and sciences. Stark State also works closely with business and industry to train a skilled workforce in meeting talent pipeline needs for in-demand jobs. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students, about a quarter of whom are from the Akron area. Stark State College Akron is a new 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility at 360 Perkins St. Learn more at starkstate.edu/akron.
About United Way of Summit County:
United Way of Summit County takes on the issues that matter most to children and families in Greater Akron. We pursue Bold Goals through forward-thinking strategies, innovative programs and hands-on work in our community. We team up with private and public leaders, local businesses, and thousands of volunteers from across our community to create change that matters. Together, we are hand raisers. Game changers. Because there's a better future in store for Greater Akron, and the time is now to make it happen. Learn more at uwsummit.org.
(Akron Public Schools) Today Akron Public Schools (APS) and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. announced the new Bridgestone Academy of Applied Engineering and Technology, which will bring a Firestone Complete Auto Care (FCAC) center to East Community Learning Center (CLC) in the Fall of the 2018/2019 school year. The center will give up to 100 students hands-on experience working with top-of-the-line automotive technology while learning business practices necessary to run a retail store. Bridgestone Americas will also become a Named Academy Partner in the growing community of businesses engaging in the new College & Career Academies of Akron for APS high schools.
Akron Public Schools will retrofit a portion of the existing Automotive Technology lab at East CLC in conjunction with Bridgestone Americas, which will donate materials, fixtures, and point-of-sale systems. The center will come complete with software programs, customer waiting area and equipment to service vehicles. Uniformed students will provide limited auto maintenance services to the local community while practicing exemplary customer service and business acumen. All revenue generated from service and sales will be reinvested into the program.
“The Automotive Technology program at East CLC has a long history of teaching students auto repair skills,” Chadwick Groom, East CLC automotive technology teacher said. “This collaboration with Bridgestone Americas will strengthen our curriculum by providing students with more advanced training while learning about customer service and business fundamentals.”
“Bridgestone is thrilled to be part of the College & Career Academies of Akron. This collaboration underscores our long-term, deep-seated commitment and ties to the Akron community and education in particular,” said Christine Karbowiak, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Executive Vice President, Bridgestone Americas.“Bridgestone is a leader in innovation, and this training center is a tangible representation of Our Way to Serve, our corporate social responsibility commitment. The center reflects our dedication to educating the next generation of automotive and retail professionals, using the latest technology, operational procedures and business practices offered in our Firestone Complete Auto Care tire and automotive service centers.”
This new center was inspired by Maplewood High School Automotive Training Center, a public-private collaboration between Bridgestone Americas and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to benefit Nashville education. Since the beginning of the collaboration in 2015, Bridgestone has hired 17 Maplewood graduates as store teammates and 12 as interns at Firestone Complete Auto Care locations in the Nashville region.
“We are grateful for the investment Bridgestone Americas has made in our students at East CLC,” APS Superintendent David W. James said. “This collaboration marks another step forward in the transformation of APS high school education to College & Career Academies, providing all students with the opportunity to explore their world in greater depth and achieve success after graduation.”
APS was designated a Ford Next Generation Learning Community in May, 2017. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is supporting the transformation of public high schools into career-themed academies to better prepare students for college and professional success in today's competitive global economy. College and Career Academies of Akron are supported by the following key strategic partners: GAR Foundation, United Way of Summit County, ConxusNEO, Summit Education Initiative, and Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.
The collaboration between Akron Public Schools and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. was formed with the help of United Way of Summit County. In May, APS announced that United Way would serve as a link between the College and Career Academies of Akron and local businesses to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and to strengthen the education to employment pipeline in Summit County.
“United Way is proud to work with Bridgestone Americas, Inc. to bring the Bridgestone Academy of Applied Engineering and Technology to East CLC,” said Jim Mullen, United Way president and CEO. “Akron Public Schools, through their College and Career Academies, are transforming their educational model. Bridgestone’s investment will help them create exciting new learning experiences that will prepare students with valuable skills for future success.”
Multiple authorities were contacted about an alleged student-teacher relationship, that had been ongoing for three years. Every investigating agency concluded that despite multiple text messages between the two, there wasn't enough evidence to prove such a relationship.
Now, 36-year-old Laura Lynn Cross, a former English teacher at Buchtel High School, is charged with three counts of sexual battery, stemming from the relationship she carried on with a former student for all those years, and that resulted in her giving birth to the young boy's child. Cross was the boy's eighth grade English teacher, according to records, which is where they first met.
Reports indicate that the teen boy's mother notified school officials, Akron Police, Tallmadge Police, Summit County Juvenile Prosecutors, and more, and got nowhere. Cross even won partial custody of the teenager, which is why he was able to move into her Tallmadge home back in 2013. A News 5 report indicates that the boy's mother didn't fight the partial custody ruling because she didn't want her son to "hate her."
Tallmadge Police Chief Ron Williams says there just wasn't enough evidence to bring charges against Cross during the time of the previous investigation. He says both Cross and the boy were uncooperative in their investigation. In response to the News 5 report, Akron Public Schools tells the TV news outlet they launched their own investigation into the alleged affair last Friday.
Cross is currently in Summit County Jail, being held on $100,000 bond.
On Monday, the Akron Public School Board voted 5-1 to allow school resource officers to carry Narcan on high school and middle properties in the district.
Narcan, or Naloxone, is the opioid overdose antidote that is applied to an overdose victim by a nasal spray. The resource officers who work on Akron school campuses are employees of the Akron Police Department and have been trained on how to use the drug. Bravo says that after the policy is officially passed, the School Board will decide who else on staff will be trained on how to use naloxone and where it will be stored on school campuses. He's hoping that will be decided by the Fall, and the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo told the Ray Horner Morning Show, "The opioid epidemic is here; and I think you can either choose to arm yourself for a possible emergency at some point, or you can choose not to, and we chose to do something proactive."
As for the cost of the Naloxone program at Akron Public Schools, Bravo says the vendor they are looking at provides the doses free for the high schools for the first year. At $100 per dose, and two doses per resource officer, Bravo says the cost for the remaining middle schools will be around $2,000. He says the board will come up with those funds for the Naloxone doses.
The latest numbers from the Summit County Medical Examiner's office show an average of 9 opioid or opiate overdoses a day in Summit County. "We're here to look out for the safety and security of not only the 21,000 students that enter our buildings every day, but the 4,000 full time and part time staff and all of the adult visitors and children," Bravo added.
The Akron Public Schools announced the elimination of 93 positions Monday, including 31 teachers and 35 tutors. Much of the blame for the layoffs was placed on the merger of Kenmore High School and Garfield High School.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo and School Board member Lisa Mansfield joined Jasen Tuesday to talk about what the layoffs will mean for students and whether some of the laid off staff members could still get jobs within the district.
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.”
Akron Public Schools Athletic Director Joe Vassalotti spoke with Brad Russell Monday to shed some insight into the team colors and nickname for Kenmore/Garfield High School.
The school will be housed in a new location down the road, but for now the Kenmore/Garfield Golden Rams will be located on 13th Street SW in Akron.
For the full interview with Joe Vassalotti discussing some of the coaching changes in the APS, click here.
Akron Fire responded to a call in the 1000 block of Copley Road early Wednesday morning, just before 7 a.m.
Upon arrival, the house was engulfed in flames. Five adults were in the home at the time of the fire; one of them, an adult male, was treated by Akron Fire/EMS on the scene and did not require further medical attention.
All of the residents have been displaced, and Akron Red Cross is assisting with their needs.
At the time of the fire, Copley Road between Packard Drive and Hardesty Boulevard was closed to traffic.
Because of smoke from the fire and the location, Akron Public Schools closed Buchtel High School and Buchtel Middle School for the day. Both schools are expected to be open Thursday.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
Akron's school board with a yes vote, following a vote taken Sunday by teachers on a new three-year contract. The deal provides for salary hikes ranging from one and a half to two and a half percent and also boosts the share of health care premiums workers pay.
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(APS) At 8 p.m. tonight, the Akron Board of Education School Board voted in favor of a new, three year contract for its teachers, members of the Akron Education Association (AEA).Teachers voted in favor of the agreement Sunday evening. The three year agreement increases salaries:
1.50% retroactive to 7/1/16
2.25% effective 7/1/17
2.50% effective 7/1/18
The agreement also calls for employees to pay up to 2% more for health care premiums for the 17-18 school year and up to 3% more in the 18-19 school year.
After 38 seasons as the head coach of the Ellet Orangemen football team, Joe Yost resigned from his position Friday morning.
Athletic Director of the Akron Public Schools, Joe Vassalotti joined the Sam and Brad Show on Friday to talk about his legacy for the Ellet community and how he impacted the lives of many young people.
Vassalotti coached against Yost during his own coaching journey. He said when people think Ellet, and especially Ellet football, you think Joe Yost.
Yost won 234 games as the Ellet head football coach and accumulated many other accolades throughout his coaching career including multiple City Series Championships.
Vassalotti said Yost plans on taking some time to himself and still being active in the Ellet community.
Joe Yost could not be reached for comment.
The full interview can be heard here.
Longtime head football coach for the Garfield Golden Rams Bob Sax stepped down as the head coach after 15 seasons at the helm.
Both Kenmore High School and Garfield High School will merge next fall (Fall of 2017) and they will be looking for a new leader.
Akron Public Schools Athletic Director Joe Vassalotti spoke with Sam and Brad on Monday to talk about that process.
He plans on teaching mathematics at Kenmore/Garfield next year.
North High School's Academy of Health and Human Services got a big boost from Akron Children's Hospital this week.
The hospital pledged $400,000 to the Akron Public Schools. $250,000 of that will go to the health care academy, while the other $150,000 will come in the form of internships, teacher externships, and other experiential learning opportunities.
Children's Hospital President and CEO Bill Considine joined Jasen to talk about the donation and the business community's thoughts on the career academy model being rolled out at North.
Firestone High School was on heightened alert Wednesday morning after a "non-specific" threat was emailed to a teacher Tuesday night.
Akron Public Schools Director of Student Support Services and Security Dan Rambler confirmed that the email was sent to a specific teacher, but was so vague and non-specific in nature that they couldn't pinpoint any specific threat. "It's an email address that nobody has been able to determine the source yet," Rambler tells 1590 WAKR.
While non-specific, Akron Public Schools, the high school, and Akron Police were not taking any chances. A robo-call was made to parents of Firestone High School students Tuesday night to notify them of both the threat and security measures being taken at the school.
Those security measures, Rambler said, were mobile metal detectors the school has on site, placed at entrances and throughout the school. He confirmed they will likely remain in place throughout the remainder of the week.
No arrest has been made and Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards says detectives are working to determine the IP address of the email.
We'll have updates on this story as they are made available.
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."
UPDATED 4:50 a.m. The victims of Saturday's fire that left four dead and two injured were identified by their pastor. Rev. Zach Prosser of Celebration Church in Akron told Cleveland.com the adults are Omar Riley and Shirley Wallis, who had been together for 12 years. Their daughters, nine year old Aniyla and and eight year old Shanice, also perished in the blaze. Prosser identified the 12-year old victim as Wallis' daughter Shaniya, who was listed in critical condition at Akron Children's Hospital.
Another victim, Jennifer Grubbs, was also injured when she jumped out of the attic from the flames according to her fiancee. He was not in the home at the time of the fire. The flames first showed in the back of the house according to a neighbor's home security camera video, according to reports.
An early morning Saturday blaze left four people dead, two injured. The Akron Fire Department reports the house fire at 266 East Tallmadge Avenue was "heavily involved" when they arrived about five minutes after the call at 1:33 a.m. Arriving firefighters were able to pull five of the six victims from the home. Among the dead are an eight and nine year old; News5 reports a 12-year old jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames and is in critical condition. An adult was also pulled from the home and was also injured.
Video from the scene is at the News5 link above
Names and other details of the victims were not released. There is no cause of the blaze at this time.
No smoke detectors were found in the home, which reportedly was a rental property. The American Red Cross is reminding area residents smoke detectors are free throughout northeast Ohio, and the Akron Fire Department provides free installation in partnership with the Red Cross. Mayor Dan Horrigan said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy...and will see to it hat the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."
The children were enrolled in Akron Public Schools, one at Seiberling Elementary and another at Forest Hills Elementary. The 12-year old is a student at Hyre Middle School. APS spokesman Mark Williamson said ""Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
There was also reaction from LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation; the children were members of his Wheels for Education program. James tweeted he was "unbelievably saddened to hear the news. My heart hurts...our family lost two bright, bright stars."
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(Akron Fire Department) Firefighters responded to a two and a half story residential house fire. Upon arrival the first floor was heavily involved in smoke and flames. People were reported to be trapped inside so an immediate interior fire attack was taken for rescue. The call came in at 01:33 and by 01:38 the first Engine was on scene.
Through the heavy heat and smoke (no visibility) 5 of the 6 victims were pulled from the house within the first few minutes of arrival. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it was noted that smoke detectors could not be located throughout the house.
The fire caused four fatalilties. Two adults and two children, 8 and 9 year old. Two other victims were transported and are still ithe hospital. Unknown condition at the time of this press release. Names, relationships, and genders were not given while investigation is on going. One firefighter was transported for minor injuries and released.
(American Red Cross) We are deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from a home fire in Akron early Saturday morning. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy.
The Red Cross partners with many Fire Departments in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron Fire Department, to provide and install smoke alarms, free of charge, to any resident who requests the alarms. We also provide valuable fire safety information, and help residents develop plans to escape from their homes should a fire occur. The initiative is call Operation Save-A-Life.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan helped launch Operation Save-a-Life at a home in Akron earlier this year.
Akron residents can call 330-535-2030 to request a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarms. In Cleveland, residents can call 216-361-5535. Youngstown residents may call 866-319-7160. Elsewhere
throughout Northeast Ohio, residents can log onto redcross.org/neo to request smoke alarms for their homes.
We are grateful for our partnerships with so many fire departments, corporations and community groups for helping to provide this valuable, potentially life-saving service, and we urge all residents to check their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers or website above if they need smoke alarms for their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers above.
(City of Akron) Early this morning the Akron Fire Department responded to an advanced-stage fire in a three-story house on East Tallmadge Avenue.
The Fire Department acted quickly to extinguish the flames and rescue the individuals inside. Tragically, two adults and two children lost their lives in the fire. One adult and one child have survived and are being treated for their injuries.
"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident. Any time our community experiences a loss such as this, it reminds us how precious life is," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. 'My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members of those who lost their lives, as we continue to pray for strength and healing for the survivors being treated. We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.
There is no higher duty we have as city leaders than to protect the health and safety of our residents and I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in responding to this fire and for their attempts to rescue those trapped inside. I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire."
(Akron Public Schools) "Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
The Akron Public School district is holding a number of parent meetings over the next few weeks about the district's proposed consolidation changes.
They include one meeting each at Garfield High School, November 2nd, and at Kenmore High School, November 9th.
The Akron district plans to combine those two high schools at a location not yet unveiled.
There are also meetings at Bettes Elementary, Roswell Kent Middle School and at Innes CLC to discuss merger plans involving those schools.
(Akron Public Schools, news release) Akron Public Schools has a series of parent meetings scheduled for the coming weeks to discuss consolidation plans and keep families informed of upcoming changes.
The communities of Firestone Park, Kenmore and North Hill are the three being asked to join school administrators and Board members to participate and ask questions on the following dates:
Thursday, October 27, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Bettes Elementary School to discuss plans to consolidate with the new Harris-Jackson Community Learning Center
Tuesday, November 1, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Roswell Kent Middle School to discuss plans to move students from Roswell Kent to Innes CLC
Wednesday, November 2, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Garfield High School to discuss plans to merge high schools with Kenmore
Monday, November 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Innes CLC to discuss consolidation with Roswell Kent
Wednesday, November 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Kenmore High School to discuss plans to merge with Garfield
Parents are encouraged to attend.
Since its inception three years ago, the iC.A.R.E. student mentoring program has been a partner with Akron Public Schools, providing in-school mentoring to students grades K through 12.
On Thursday, the United Way announced that iC.A.R.E. is officially one of their programs now, offering an expansion of services in the Akron Public Schools system and more mentors for students.
Jonathan Greer, director of the iC.A.R.E. program with the United Way of Summit County says it's a perfect partnership, and "it's awesome to see how our agency is really expanding and doing impactful work within the Akron Public Schools district."
Greer says they're looking to have more than 1000 students, and in turn mentors, involved in the program this year. iC.A.R.E. prides itself on being a one-on-one student to mentor program, so the "more the merrier," Greer says.
For more information on how you can be a mentor in the iC.A.R.E. program, visit www.uwsummit.org/mentor. You can also read more in the official press release below:
iC.A.R.E in-school mentoring becomes United Way program
AKRON, Ohio – – United Way of Summit County has welcomed a new member into its family of community impact programs and initiatives. Created in 2013, the iC.A.R.E Mentoring program provides Akron Public School students in grades K-12 with nurturing and supportive role models.
Unlike other mentoring programs, which generally involve activities outside of school hours, iC.A.R.E works within the school system, coordinating with administrators to ensure that students can spend time with their mentors without taking time away from their academic work.
Since beginning in Summit County three years ago, iC.A.R.E has grown significantly, now serving nearly 300 students with a roster of more than 200 mentors. Volunteer mentors spend one hour per week with each mentee, helping children and young adults excel academically, build confidence and acquire the skills needed to face difficult life challenges.
“It’s a great source of stability for students,” says Jonathan Greer, director of iC.A.R.E Mentoring for United Way. “More than a third of Akron public school students change schools each year, but mentors follow their mentees from school to school.” Indeed, the results are often striking – absenteeism rates for students who are mentored through in-school programs have been shown to decrease by nearly 50 percent.
“It’s simple: kids go to school more when they have a mentor,” adds Greer. “It makes a huge difference when they can spend time with an adult who isn’t a disciplinarian, just a friend.”
It seems as though students agree. The program boasts a retention rate of above 90 percent.
For United Way, the acquisition of iC.A.R.E provides another opportunity to expand its impact in the local community. With the increase in recognition and resources that comes with being a United Way program, the organization hopes to have more than 1000 students involved in iC.A.R.E Mentoring this school year.
United Way has recruited a team of ten AmeriCorps VISTAs to help coordinate volunteer efforts and expand the program. The organization hopes to attract further funding for the program in the future through nontraditional sources such as grants.
Further, United Way will take advantage of its large network of corporate partners whose employees could serve as mentors in the program. Just as with other United Way engagement opportunities, volunteers can gain the satisfaction of helping to improve their communities. Corporations who encourage their employees to participate as mentors can also enjoy the benefits of greater employee satisfaction and a more upbeat and motivated workforce.
Ultimately, the addition of iC.A.R.E to its roster of programs will help United Way continue to advance its mission to improve education across the local community. With more than a quarter of Akron public school students not graduating high school , investments in programs like iC.A.R.E, which help students succeed in school, can make an enormous difference in the lives of children and young people.
“iC.A.R.E is a natural fit for us,” says Jim Mullen, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Summit County. “It will allow us to drive volunteer engagement – consistent with our increased focus on engaging our partners in the work we do – and it will create a measurable impact in the lives of students and families in this community.”
“This program is a great investment in the future of this city,” he adds.
"The difference in our school climate, our students and their performance is marked and measurable," said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James, in talking about iC.A.R.E's influence on grades, attendance and discipline. "We have actually been working with mentoring programs for several years now, and Jonathan's approach is working at APS."
About United Way of Summit County
United Way of Summit County advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on Education, Income and Health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We train a spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage Collective Impact. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Summit County visit uwsummit.org.
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.
A new long-term partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron-based Signet Jewelers is set to provide more mentoring opportunities for Akron Public School students.
Michele Campbell, executive director of LJFF, said the partnership allows for Signet employees to train and become one-on-one mentors for 3rd-8th grade students.
"We have 1,129 students and we need more mentors," said Campbell. "With Signet right in our backyard and committed to our program and committed to this community, it's going to allow us to have more mentors , one-on-one, with our children."
Several students joined Campbell, APS Superintendent David James and Signet officials for the announcement at Litchfield Middle School Friday morning. It's safe to say that Jayden Shippe, 13, is enjoying his time spent with the LJFF.
"I love this program," said Shippe. "I love the fun trips , the mentors and how we get to go to Cedar Point every year ad I love how they're giving us a scholarship to [The University of Akron.]"
Shippe said the mentoring program has been beneficial and helped him succeed in the classroom. 13-year-old Mikhaila Bonds said it's more than just helping with work in the classrooms.
"We just talk," said Bond. "They're like a counselor."
Campbell said volunteers will work directly with United Way of Summit County's iC.A.R.E Mentoring program, to offer training.
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.
UPDATE 3:58 PM 9/12/16: Akron Public Schools announced Monday afternoon that Ellet High School will be closed again Tuesday, as cleanup continues.
(Previous coverage) Ellet High School will be closed Monday as smoke damage is assessed following a late-evening fire Saturday that apprently started in a room used for building maintenance and the school's construction program.
Firefighters were alerted by an alarm triggered around 11:00 p.m.
Damage estimates haven't been released but the worst of the fire was contained to the room and adjoining area, although firefighters did find hallways filled with "light smoke" on their arrival at 304 Wolf Avenue. AFD responded with multiple alarm calls that included four fire engine trucks, a medical unit, a pair of battalion commanders and additional shift commander on site as well as an arson investigator. Firefighters used a foam truck which also doubles as a ventilation truck to help exhaust the smoke from the building.
Akron Public School opted to keep the school closed tomorrow while clean-up and investigation into the cause continues.
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(Akron Fire Department)Akron Fire responded to a private alarm at 304 Wolf Ave Ellet High School. Companies on scene
investigated the building and found light smoke in the hallways. The alarm was upgraded to 2nd alarm that includes 4 Engines ,2 Ladder trucks, 2 Battalion Commanders, Med unit, Shift Commander, and Arson investigator. After a search of the building room to room, Firefighters were able to locate the fire and extinguish it.
Foam Truck 660, which is also a large commercial ventilation truck, was called in to assist in ventilating the smoke from the building. Unknown at the time of this press release of the extent of the damages or where at in the building was effected most.
Some local communities have faced the issue of poor access to fresh and affordable food. It's a problem the Akron Public School District is well aware of, which is why they have created a summer event to educate families on how to purchase and cook a fresh meal.
"We know that our community has a need for increasing the access to quality, fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable costs," said Carla Sibley, director of community relations.
The two-event, "From Fast to Fresh" program will give families a chance to visit local farmers markets and learn how to prepare healthy meals on a budget.
"We have food deserts in our community and we also know that many of our families suffer from illnesses and health conditions that are often times related to what they eat."
Sibley calls the program a link between a healthy lifestyle and quality education.
The first event will take place on Thursday, June 16 at the Akron Summit County Public Library in Highland Square. Families will take a tour of the Countryside Farmer's Market and Mustard Seed Market & Cafe.
Guest will also tour the newly opened Hattie's Food Hub on Douglas Street in Akron on July 14.
More information can be found on the district's website at www.akronschools.com
Police and Akron public schools security searched an Akron school Wednesday afternoon after rumors of a weapon at the school, but nothing was found.
Those rumors resulted in the doors at Jennings CLC being locked - in what the district calls a Safe School Watch - at about 3 PM.
Police and security searched both the building and grounds at Jennings and interviewed students.
Dismissal was delayed by a half hour, and classes at Jennings were not disrupted...and the district called families of those who attend the school.
The district and police are encouraging students who may know anything about the reports to come forward.
(APS, phone call to Jennings families) Dear Jennings Families:
Just before 3 this afternoon, Akron Public Schools placed Jennings CLC on Safe School Watch.
Akron police and APS security conducted a thorough search of the building and grounds and interviewed a number of students after a report surfaced of a weapon on the premises.
The thorough search turned up nothing, there was no interruption of learning and we delayed dismissal by 30 minutes.
During Safe School Watch, all doors to the building are secured to prevent entry or exit from the premises.
We continue to ask for your help and support in encouraging students to let us know if they ever hear any student might be involved in something that could pose a security concern for Jennings students and staff.
Our thanks to the Akron Police Department for its hard work every day. We work closely with law enforcement on procedures and plans to maintain safety in our schools for students and staff.
Security will be enhanced this week at Jennings due to this report. We will keep you apprised.
Akron Public School officials are hoping to attract more teachers to the district during a statewide education job fair this weekend. The Ohio 8 Coalition Job Fair in Columbus will conduct on-site interviews for those interested in teaching in a number of Ohio school districts, including Akron and Canton.
APS Recruitment Coordinator Teresa Kossuth says they're in need of educators who can teach english as a second language -- especially in North Hill where many refugees have settled.
"Because our diverse population of students is growing, we have the need for teachers who have an endorsement to teach english as a second language," said Kossuth.
Kossuth said one of their main priorities is to find passionate teachers.
"While some of the challenges may be greater in teaching in an urban district, the rewards tremendously outweigh that."
The job fair will be held at the Embassy Suites North in Columbus on Saturday, March 12 at 9 a.m.
New tests and new standards meant tougher grades for Ohio's school districts in the most recent state report cards, released Thursday.
Akron Public Schools recorded a D in "Performance Index".
But APS assistant superintendent Ellen McWilliams-Woods says that is difficult to compare to past results.
She says districts were warned by state education officials that results would likely drop this year due to the testing and Common Core changes.
Cleveland.com reports that only six Ohio school districts got an "A" under the "Performance Index" this year, compared to 37 last year.
Despite "F"s in 4 year graduation rates and in the "indicators met" category, APS is happy with A grades in year to year measures of student progress.
McWilliams-Woods says state testing will change again for this school year...with Ohio moving away from the controversial "PARCC" test.
She says APS will put in its own assessment system that won't change for years.
On the Web: Ohio Department of Education School Report Cards (2014-15): http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Firestone High School had a short lockdown Friday morning, after tips led to the discovery of marijuana at the school.
Two Firestone girls were found possessing a small amount of marijuana.
APS spokesman Mark Williamson tells WAKR.net that a third student, a boy, was found with drug paraphenalia in his locker. They say that discovery was not related to the other drugs found.
School resource officers took about 25 minutes to search for the drugs, and all three students were suspended.
Williamson says classes were not affected during what the district calls a "safe school watch".
The North High School Vikings have a brand new football coach, and he is looking to instill toughness, discipline, and a sense of tying the program into the community.
Sonil Haslam joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday afternoon to talk about how he's going to put his imprint on the program.
He said that he's ready for the challenge of being a head coach.
"I'm pretty excited," says Haslam. "We have to reach out and embrace what we have, and there's tons to do, trying to get things right for the kids."
The City Series is a grind, and with the schools, Haslam says the same group of kids walk the halls at North and the other schools within Akron, so it's all about garnering support and instilling pride in the school and in the community in regards to the football program.
"It's all about peaking interest and getting guys involved," he says.
Coach Haslam also states that support from the school, the North Hill community, and the district is important for building the program as well. Haslam, graduate of East HS, has coached at St. Vincent-St. Mary, Firestone HS, and Archibishop Hoban HS as an assistant.
Treasurer of Akron Public Schools, Ryan Pendleton, joins Ray to talk about the plan to consolidate schools. Pendleton tells Ray about how much money the district will save and discusses other ways the district will benefit from the consolidation.
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.