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  The Herman Trend Alert

August 8, 2018

A School for the Future

Before leaving Ohio to become the Los Angeles Laker, superstar basketball player LeBron James recently announced a unique investment he made in the future of his hometown Akron, Ohio. He joined with the public school district to open the I Promise School for at-risk children. A unique environment, the I Promise School is doing a lot of things right.

A STEM-designated school with a holistic approach
The school is unique not only because it is a STEM-designated school by the state of Ohio, but also because they offer trauma-informed support. The objective is to educate the whole child, focusing not just on their academics, but also on their social, emotional needs, too. To accomplish this task, the school will feature smaller class sizes, a longer school day (9am to 5pm), a longer school year, and upgraded technology,

Family support, often the missing link
I Promise takes fixing this missing link of family support very seriously. They have a family resource center housed on site, because they're not only into nurturing and loving their students, but the entire family as well. Parents who still need to complete their GED will get the support they need. Plus, they will get help finding the right job if they need it.

Other tangible benefits as well
As an Akron public school, the tuition to the school is, of course, free. The 240 lucky third- and fourth-graders get free lunches, uniforms, and bikes. Moreover, graduates of the school will get free college tuition at the University of Akron. Not only are the students being provided a solid academic foundation, but they are also being taught to be contributing members of our society, as well.

A collaboration that works well
Since 2011, the collaboration between the Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation already has already been working. Said Principal Brandi Davis, "At the end of the day, it's all about our students and what works best for them."

A model for future schools
Just as the best school in the world supports its students' parents, so is the I Promise School following suit. We believe this is a winning model for the future and encourage all schools (yes, even the private ones) to look at how they can engage their parents with needed support and additional enrichment activities. Using this model, schools can create positive experiences and higher levels of engagement that will serve them and their students very well.

Special thanks to National Public Radio's Morning Edition and and the Dayton Daily News for the details of this wonderful development.


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