Hello, Ginn Academy supporters! With slightly cooler air greeting us in recent mornings and new backpacks and gym uniforms appearing on our credit card bills, we greet the imminent arrival of the 2011-2012 school year. At The Ginn Academy, we have some new programs, faces, and ideas that have been in the works, so we'd like to give you a little preview of the upcoming year. Most of these topics will be explored in greater detail as they mature and develop over the next few months.
One of our most exciting summer tasks is recruiting and orienting a new group of students, mostly ninth graders, but some upperclassmen as well. Prospective students must apply and interview with their parent/guardian for admission to the school. Becoming a part of the Academy is a family commitment and we understand that the family is interviewing us as well. During the interview, an overview of The Ginn Academy is given, which after only four short years, is considered a rich and successful history. It gives us an opportunity to share successes such as graduation rates and test scores, and also the challenges of a school still in its infancy.
The committee, which consists of school administrators, youth support staff, our college advisor, and at least one teacher, conducts a pretty stringent interview but also talks about the love, passion, and understanding that we have for each and every student. The most critical part of the interview is the question, "Why do you want to come to The Ginn Academy?" It is important for the student to want to attend the Academy and not because of coercion by anyone. Responses range from the need for more focus on academics to word-of-mouth recommendations by friends and relatives. Often, the candidates have a connection to Coach Ginn, who has had an impact on the lives of multiple generations.
We accept the best of the best and also, some might say, the worst of the worst. All of our applicants have stories; some read differently than others. All students deserve a chance. Some need a few chances, for which The Ginn Academy offers hope.
SPO -- The Student Parent Organization
We're very excited this year to see the emergence of a re-energized Student Parent Organization (SPO). A passionate group of parents has been working all summer to come up with concrete goals and a plan for the organization. They've nearly completed a comprehensive handbook which they hope will make parents and students more aware of the many academic aspects of the school year: graduation requirements, dates for SAT and ACT tests, conferences, attendance and absences, uniforms, the Ohio Graduation Test, athletic eligibility, the Ohio Award of Merit and Top Scholar policy, and countless other details.
The group's main goal at this point is to foster communication between the school and home and between teachers and parents. They've also planned fundraising events and will improve parent representation of GA to the school board. Once they're established and operating smoothly, the SPO plans to involve the boys in creating a school newsletter.
With all of the ideas and enthusiasm surrounding the officers of the SPO, they will need the support of every parent and guardian at the school to make the organization truly successful. There are small tasks that can be done at home and larger tasks for those that want to be more involved. Every minute counts and is valuable to the SPO. As of now, meetings are planned for the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the school.
Health and Wellness
We are very, very excited about the introduction of a school-wide program called PE4Life, which has been made possible by a generous local businessman and his wife. The program introduces more physical exercise into the students' days and, as a result, we can look for overall improved attendance, academic performance, behavior, and of course physical health. One of our science teachers, Coach Scott (Niedzwicki), piloted parts of the program last year and the kids loved it. We're looking forward to offering it in full to everyone this year and will definitely revisit this as it gets rolling.
Our school building has a rather unique feature and we have some big plans for it. It's a two-story high glass-enclosed room at the center of the school called the vivarium. It's got a water habitat, which is currently used by large goldfish, and planting beds, which have recently had a nice facelift courtesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Again, more information will come in the future as our plans are finalized, but we've got some great ideas about using this cool space to round out the boys' educational opportunities.
The first day for students is Wednesday, August 24th. We have approximately 300 students this year and lots of plans to make this a great year for them. We'll keep you posted on all of the happenings, progress, and good things that go on at The Ginn Academy as the year starts up. Thanks for being here with us!
Kind Regards from everyone at The Ginn Academy