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Bridgescape Learning Academy to Help Dayton Students Earn Their High School Diploma

Innovative Dropout Recovery Program Comes to Dayton

Dayton, OH -- With the number one predictor of success in life being a high school diploma, the leading alternative learning program for students who are at risk of leaving school or have already left school, is now open to young people in Dayton.

The Bridgescape Learning Academy of Dayton, located at 3237 W. Siebenthaler Avenue, will provide an effective and personalized educational option for those students who want to earn a standard high school diploma.

Dayton-area students interested in learning more about Bridgescape should visit the website at: www.bridgescape.com; or call an enrollment counselor directly at 937-639-3192.

During the recently concluded school year, more than 2,000 high school dropouts and at risk students attended Bridgescape Learning Academies in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Norfolk, Durham, and Bridgeton, NJ.

Understanding that personal issues and challenges may have interfered with a student’s academic progress, Bridgescape offers a flexible program so students can attend on-site classes in the morning, afternoon or evening to suit their needs.

Unlike a traditional school setting, the Bridgescape program is a blend of one-on-one and group instruction, infused with interactive online offerings specifically tailored for each individual student.  Each Academy is staffed with on-site education teams to assist students in their daily studies. Two-thirds of the student’s instruction is provided by EdisonLearning’s eCourses and eSchoolware.

With the 2016-17 school year, Bridgescape Learning Academies will be adding a project-based learning curriculum, developed by Global Learning Models (GLM), to help students capitalize on their own strengths, learning styles, and interests by applying them to coursework.  The 48 GLM project-based learning courses in English, Math & Science core curriculum for grades 9 – 12 will be integrated with the existing EdisonLearning eCourses.

Since its inception in 2010, Bridgescape has awarded diplomas to 2,000 at-risk and dropped-out high school students, and helped prepare them to enter college or receive the necessary credentials to get a job upon graduation.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of students, who enroll in Bridgescape, complete the program and earn their diploma - which is higher than the national graduation rate for all schools.

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Chicago Bridgescape Class of 2016

Five Chicago Bridgescape Academies Award Diplomas to 203 Graduates

On June 14, the five Chicago area Bridgescape Academies held their third graduation ceremony at Roberto Clemente High School. Before a packed audience of more than 800 parents, guardians, family members, friends, and Bridgescape staff, Ms. Tara Lawrence conferred high school diplomas upon 203 graduates. It was an evening of excitement, tears, smiles, and so many positive emotions. These students, who were on the verge of not being successful in achieving their high school diploma, have been given the chance to progress forward through Bridgescape Learning Academies.

The graduates were encouraged through an inspiring commencement address given by Dr. Sabrena L. Davis, Student Success Director of EdisonLearning’s Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary, Indiana. She told them her personal account of how she overcame the struggles of her youth as she matriculated through school to ultimately obtain her post-secondary and post-graduate degrees. Dr. Davis told the graduates that “Tea Bags Live on Bridges”. The central theme of her message was one of hope, determination, and faith.

The “Magic Award” was bestowed upon five of the graduates, who were honored and recognized by their principals for reaching their high school educational goals despite having to overcome various obstacles in their personal lives. Like many of the students who seek out Bridgescape, these outstanding students also had stories, ones of travailing, persisting, and triumphing. The graduates were Shermaine Sewell – Brainerd Campus, Telan Lucas – North Lawndale Campus, Titochie Figures – Englewood Campus, Tatiana Brown – Roseland Campus, and Martin Ovalle – Humboldt Campus.

The success of Bridgescape Learning Academies in Chicago has been realized through the support of our many partners. Each year during graduation, Alderman Carrie Austin, alderman of the 34th Ward, where our Roseland Campus resides, recognizes two of our outstanding students: Jayla Lott and Tatiana Brown. Each student received a plaque and monetary gift from the Alderman’s Education Foundation. These gifts were presented during the graduation ceremony by a representative from the Alderman’s Office.

From their opening in 2013, Chicago Bridgescape Academies have graduated 320 students who, otherwise, may have been unsuccessful in the traditional high school environment in achieving their high school diploma.

 

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Fourth of July

Thom Jackson on the Fourth of July

Two hundred and forty years ago this July 4, delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence.  While the optimal phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” is known world-wide, lost to history is the fact that the final declaration was significantly modified from the original drafted by Thomas Jefferson. 

The Declaration's central point – “that all men are created equal” - was an obvious rebuke to the institution of slavery. However, delegates from primarily slave colonies pushed, and prevailed, for the deletion of Jefferson's more detailed passage on slavery, which was removed from the final document. The inconsistency of the institution of slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented, but never rectified until the adoption of the 13th Amendment to Constitution in 1865.

Throughout its history, the United States has struggled to maintain its founding principles, while at the same time address the ever-present questions that derive from a diverse multi-racial, multi-ethnic pluralistic society.  Such challenges are especially prevalent in the current presidential election campaign.

The vast majority of our citizens believe that “equal” does in fact mean “equal”. Yet, as much as the United States was founded on the idea that we are all created equal; economic, racial, and educational inequality have become key themes in our civic discourse. Once thought to be “the great equalizer,” American education today is not providing equal opportunity to all children.

According the Education Equity Index:

  • Only two in 10 students from low-income families attend schools that have successfully closed the achievement gap.
  • In most major U.S. cities, the achievement gap between students from low-income families and their more advantaged peers stagnated or grew since 2010.
  • Only six percent of students from low-income families in the largest 100 U.S. cities attend a school with no achievement gap.

In addition, countless school districts – in large urban centers, cities, towns, and rural areas – are confronted with dramatic shortfalls in education funding.  The Chicago Public Schools has a $1 Billion deficit; Detroit Schools a $617 Million deficit; Durham Schools a $16 Million deficit; Norfolk Schools an $8.6 Million deficit; and the Gary Community School Corporation’s total deficit is estimated at $75 Million – which is larger than their actual annual budget.

Equal opportunity to quality education is facing the harsh reality of lower local tax revenues and rising costs.  Most distressing is that collateral impacts of these conditions are falling disproportionately on low-income students, and their families. But, regardless of the challenges, roadblocks, and socio-economic status there are young people who are rising up to persevere, overcome, and succeed.

Over the past month, 600 young people received high school diplomas from EdisonLearning partnership schools.  This impressive number includes students who never thought they would ever finish school – but are now graduates of Bridgescape Learning Academies in five states, Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy, Provost Academy Ohio, and Provost Academy South Carolina.

Having attended the recent Bridgescape commencement ceremony in Columbus, I was overwhelmed by the grit and determination shown by so many of the graduates.  Faced with unimaginable life circumstances; homelessness, averse poverty, parenthood, bullying, and abuse – each of them beamed with pride when they were handed that hard earned diploma.

Our company has accepted a significant role in shaping the future.  Our product is education: the transformative power that learning, curiosity and thinking can have not only on the lives of individuals, but on society. Our ability to succeed in carrying out this role is dependent on the passion and professionalism of each and every one of us. We owe it to those young people we serve to show them the same hard work, determination, and competence they have displayed in achieving their goals.

Alone, we cannot fill education funding gaps, or ameliorate socio-economic disparities.  But, we do have the ability and capacity to eliminate achievement gaps, and to prepare young people both academically and in character development to overcome socio-economic disparities. 

July 4, 1776 marks the first time in human history that individuals, bound together by a common purpose, sense of commitment, and drive to succeed rose up against domination by a monarch.  They did so to create a society in which every citizen had equal opportunity to succeed. It was the ultimate “team effort”, and the continued impetus for all of us to work together for the benefit of others.

Thom Jackson

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Norfolk Open Campus Bridgescape Graduation 2016

Class of 2016

On June 24, Norfolk Public Schools’ (NPS) Open Campus/Bridgescape program awarded high school diplomas to its class of 2016.

In congratulating the students, NPS said: “This program has given you the support and direction to overcome obstacles experienced in a traditional high school environment. The demands outside of school can sometimes make traditional classes difficult to attend - that’s why we developed a customized program to meet your needs. School counselors have helped you get back on track. Now, you've earned a standard diploma by outlining the critical steps toward finding a career, enrolling in college or completing a technical degree. Congratulations! You are prepared for the next chapter of your lives.”

http://nps.k12.va.us/bridgescapegrad2016gallery.html

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Cleveland Bridgescape Graduation

Class of 2016

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 35 students from the George V. Voinovich/Bridgescape Learning Academy in Cleveland, Ohio received their diplomas before an assembly of 700 friends, family and supporters.  Ms. Kym Seller a well-known Ohio radio personality delivered the Keynote address focused on determination and overcoming obstacles.  Ms. Seller is the founder of the Kym Sellers Foundation which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for multiple sclerosis research and awareness.  Sophomore students Vania Johnson and her younger brother Kendrick performed and string duet of violin and base.  Prior to the Commencement exercises, senior students enjoyed a luncheon with GVRA staff.

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