The Ohio Department of Education recognized 29 schools across the state today “for maintaining high academic achievement among their students, including many from economically disadvantaged circumstances that can make learning difficult.”

There were 22 Schools of Promise and 14 High Performing Schools of Honor.  Toledo Early College High School, Youngstown Early College and Akron Early College High School made both lists – and it’s not the first time they have received the honor.

“Even as expectations rise, these communities continue to beat the odds,” said Dr. Lonny J. Rivera, interim state superintendent of public instruction. “Students of every background and ability level deserve the opportunity to succeed, and I’m especially proud of the difference these schools are making in the lives of Ohio’s students.”

Among the criteria schools had to meet to receive these honors include:

  • Serve at least 40% economically disadvantaged students.
  • Score an Ohio School Report Card grade of A or B on its Annual Measurable Objective, to narrow performance gaps between student groups.
  • Receive an Ohio School Report Card A or B on student learning progress through the school year and a grade of A or B on high school graduation rate, if it is a high school.
  • Have 80% of all subgroups, including racial and ethnic, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities and English language learners who are Proficient.
  • Receive an Ohio School Report Card A or B on student learning progress through the school year and a combined five-year graduation rate of 93% or higher, if it is a high school.

Congratulations to all of the schools honored by the Ohio Department of Education. This is much-deserved recognition!

Read more from the Ohio Department of Education.


It’s not often you can point to a specific moment and know that was when things changed. When opportunities opened up. When the future became brighter.

For 98 eighth graders in Birmingham, Alabama, that moment happened last week when they received an acceptance letter in their mailbox to attend Woodlawn Early College High School.

Based on their education and career goals, students will be admitted into programs at a two-year or four-year institution of higher education. Regardless of the higher education institution, these students will be able to enroll in college classes as they progress through the program and earn up to 60 college credits, the equivalent of an associate degree, by the time they graduate high school.

Next year’s Early College students, the class of 2020, start working towards making the dream of college a reality on May 4, during an Early College orientation. Later, they will attend a Summer Bridge program to help immerse them in the Early College Experience.

Building Up to This Moment

Throughout this past school year, Tashina Lee, the Coordinator of the Woodlawn Early College program, has been talking to eighth graders throughout the Woodlawn feeder pattern.

“She has met and worked with principals, counselors, and the 8th grade teachers to make certain that rising ninth graders and their families were aware of the advantages of participating in the Early College High School,” said EDWorks Technical Assistance Coach Roslyn Valentine. “Her recruitment efforts yielded over ninety students applying for enrollment!”

Potential students submitted an essay and had teacher recommendations.  Each student sat down for an in-person interview conducted by representatives from the Early College teaching team, the Woodlawn Innovation Network (WIN), EDWorks and middle school staff.

The Future Starts Now

We’re confident the Early College class of 2020 at Woodlawn High School is headed for success.  The majority of these students would not have been deemed a fit for traditional advanced or magnet school programs, but they are uniquely qualified for an Early College setting. They are motivated.  They have a passion for learning.  They want to seize the moment.  As with the majority of EDWorks Early College High Schools, many of the students are first-generation college goers, some may struggle in school and for a lot of them, the idea of college has not always been a viable option. Until now.

“The EDWorks team has been working with the Woodlawn Innovation Network and all of the staff at Woodlawn Early College High School to get this initiative off the ground,” said EDWorks Chief Operating Officer Debbie Howard. “The Woodlawn Early College is a game-changer, not only for these 98 students, but for their families and the Woodlawn community as a whole.  Woodlawn Early College creates real options and opportunities for students!”


Early College Students Celebrate National Poetry Month

April 25, 2016
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During a recent visit to Marysville Early College High School, I didn’t even make it into the building before I was surrounded by minds on fire – students experiencing the joy of poetry. Early College English teacher Mary Grose gave her students the opportunity to connect with poems in personal ways. Students were asked to […]

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Catching up with Joe Vincer, Lorain County Early College High School Graduate

April 21, 2016
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Joe Vincer is a 2014 graduate of Lorain County Early College High School. We checked in with him to see what he’s up to now! After I graduated Early College in May of 2014, I took a semester off from school, which was probably the worst mistake ever. Within that semester I ended up losing […]

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Insights from the Field: Advice to educators and school leaders starting the Early College journey

April 13, 2016
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The school year is starting to wind down, but the work doesn’t slow! I was recently in Birmingham, Alabama, working with Tashina Lee, Director of Woodlawn Early College. As we were reflecting on the year and focusing on plans for student recruitment, Summer Bridge, deepening the college partnerships, and teacher professional development, I asked Tashina: […]

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A Culturally Responsive Approach to College Readiness

April 6, 2016
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What does it really take to be college ready? A common response for this question might be: having a great SAT score, or high GPA. Others might include being socially and emotionally prepared as well as academically. Still others might say, filling out the FAFSA or attending college visits. These all are important things to […]

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