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Charter school, Chaney to vie for city STEAM

Published: Mon, August 1, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.


The former Immaculate Conception School on Youngstown’s East Side will be the home this fall of a new charter school focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

By Denise Dick



The city school district’s new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and visual and performing arts school has competition from a new charter school.

Mosaica Education Inc. will open the STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math — Academy of Youngstown on Aug. 8 at 810 Oak St., the former Immaculate Conception School, the company said.

Mosaica’s company headquarters are in Atlanta and New York. STEAM Academy will be the second Mosaica school in the city.

The company also operates Youngstown Academy of Excellence on Rigby Street.

Though the new charter school will house students in kindergarten through eighth grade, it opens the same year that the former Chaney High School opens as a STEM and visual and performing arts school. That city school will accommodate students in sixth through 12th grades.

“It’s my understanding that they’ve been planning it for a couple of years, but I didn’t know that” when the city schools planned its Chaney change, said Connie Hathorn, Youngstown schools superintendent.

“It is kind of strange that they waited until we opened one.”

But he says he’s not concerned.

“Ours is going to be the flagship,” Hathorn said. “We have great students, and there’s great interest in the city for a school like this, based on the number who applied.”

About 330 students, who auditioned and interviewed for the slots, are to attend the new Chaney this year.

Melvin Brown, regional vice president for Mosaica’s Ohio schools, said through a spokeswoman that the company has been planning the school for about seven months and called it coincidence that the Mosaica school and the city school are opening at the same time.

The company is also opening STEAM schools this month in Warren and in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Lock P. Beachum Sr., city school board president, said parents will have to compare the programs to determine which better suits their children and their needs.

“I think we just have to prove that we have the best program, and parents should check both out and see who has the best program and who best meets the needs of their children for now and the future,” he said.

Another division of Mosaica, Mosaica Turnaround Partners, is one of the consultants contracted to help implement the Youngstown district’s academic recovery plan, aimed at getting the district out of academic emergency.

Mosaica’s contract was recommended by the Ohio Department of Education and approved by both the academic commission and city school board, but the school district is footing the bill. The contract is capped at $405,000.

“That is a concern,” Beachum said. “That’s something that we will need to take up with the academic commission: Why are we paying someone to be in competition with us? And we will find out.”

Debra Mettee, commission chairwoman, said she’s not concerned.

“They have other community schools around the area, and ODE was the one that selected them, and they were very comfortable with them,” she said.

Also, the work Mosaica Turnaround Partners was doing with the academic plan is completed except for final reports. That one-year contract was for the company to coach and mentor city school principals.

Brown, through the spokeswoman, said there is no conflict of interest. Mosaica Education Inc. and Mosaica Turnaround Partners are separate entities and don’t interact, he said.

“Mosaica Education school is not affiliated with the school board in any way, and the school board is the one that hired Turnaround Partners,” said the spokeswoman, Marilyn Pearlman.

Hathorn said the awarding of the consultant contracts occurred prior to his coming to the district.

“They were chosen through a bidding process through the state department,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure if they would have known, they wouldn’t have selected them. But I can’t worry about it. I don’t need any hiccups before school starts at any of my buildings, especially this one. We have quality teachers. Parents are interested and we have the support of the community, the board and the state. We’re going to be OK.”


1dd933(311 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

People who comment about articles regarding schools and education should maybe preview the comments before they post and correct all of "there" mistakes...can you "here" me?

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2city_resident(528 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

While I'm glad to see such an interesting old building will continue to be used, (Immaculate Conception school) I think Chaney will have much better facilities for a "STEAM" school.

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3Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I fail to see what was so wrong with tomjoseph's comment. Youngstown has the WORST school system in the State of Ohio. That is a FACT. I will repeat , Youngstown has the WORST school system in the State of Ohio, that is a FACT. What I don't understand is how you can take the comment "I wouldn't send my dog to Youngstown Schools." and turn it into some sort of race issue. Would it be fair for me to call you a piece of "BLACK TRASH". I don't think so, so stop playing the part of a race hustler akin to Sharpton and Jackson,and get a life.

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4Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

So let me see if I got this right, tomjoseph make a comment about not wanting to send even his dog to the worst school system in the state of Ohio. At no point does he make any other comment that can be viewed as offensive, and his comment is flagged by the Vindy and removed. At the same time rumppy makes a RACIST remark and calles tomjoseph "WHITE TRASH", and his comment is allowed to stay. Maybe someone from the Vindy would care to explain that one for me.

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5andrew1967(36 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

This will help solve the problem
go to http://www.k12.com/ it's an
online school for K-12, and all FREE
books, supplies and computer they
even help pay part of your internet
bill, We have been using k12/CAVA
for 4 years now with 2 of my 3 boys
and the outcome is fantastic.

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6pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

@ Silence_Dogood - that comment has been flagged as offensive as well. By me.

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7Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Would you be so kind as to explain the offensive part. What should be offensive is the FACT that Youngstown's Schools are the WORST in the State. Would anyone in their right mind willingly send their child to the WORST School system in the State. If a Parent REALLY cared about their child they would jump thru flaming hoops to get their child into a better School System, instead of the floundering system that is known as the Youngstown School System.

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8taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Exactly Silence. As a singel mother I have often worked a second job to keep my kids in a good school district. I would NEVER EVER consider sending them to Youngstown.

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9Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


OK theotherside I will play your game, name me one other School District in the State of Ohio that received a score of 1 out of 26, just one will do.
Really , please, name just one, I will wait for your answer.

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10Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

theotherside, last year the score was one,the year before I believe it was a two. Over the last ten years they have not received a score above three.That is a lot of snapshots.Enough to fill a photo album with. Those numbers are very TELLING as to where that School System is operating at. Do not misunderstand me when I fault the School System, I am not putting or assigning blame at Teachers or for that matter Administrators. The overwhelming fault / cause for a child's failure is their parent/parent's lack of concern for their upbringing. A great many of these students are out of control, and in the past when teachers wanted to address their out of control habits dear ol Miss Wendy Webb would dismiss the Teachers concerns out of hand. That would only embolden the out of control nature of the Student body. Which brings us full circle and the statement that tomjoseph made that I agree with." I would not send my dog to that School System". Now I realize that odds are you are a Union Rep. for the Teachers union by the way you throw around quasi socialist terminology and drip contempt for any point of view other then the far left, but the parents that care about their kid's refuse to play the game that is played in Youngstown's schools and we REFUSE to endanger our children's future to the status quo.

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11Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you get that?

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