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Youngstown City Schools will offer a virtual school starting next year

Also, an online map is now available for families to determine which school their children will attend under the district’s reconfiguration plan, and the Parent YOU Class of 2021 will graduate Friday.
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YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown City School District will offer a virtual school for 1st- through 12th-graders beginning next school year.

“The pandemic showed us that some scholars thrive while learning virtually,” CEO Justin Jennings said in a news release. “Some scholars excel while being in a traditional classroom setting, but for others, learning remotely is a better fit. We want to educate scholars in the way that’s best for them. We’re doing that by opening YCSD Virtual Academy next year.”

The academy will be housed inside Choffin Career and Technical Center but will operate as a separate school. 

Roshay Huff, who served as principal of Kirkmere Elementary School for the 2020-21 school year, will be the principal of YCSD Virtual Academy.

"Being a principal during a pandemic and supporting a remote learning environment for many scholars and families has prepared the staff and I for this new opportunity,” Huff said. “YCSD Virtual Academy will be an option for families and scholars who are self-motivated and desire to learn in a remote setting. Scholars will receive support from certified teachers to encourage their success." 

Students will be required to come to the school regularly for social-emotional check-ins, but learning will be remote.

A survey posted on the district website will allow parents to express interest in having their child attend the school next year.

Redistricting map is online

Families can learn which YCSD school their children will attend under the district’s reconfiguration plan.

The map indicating school boundaries is available here.

The district is reconfiguring next school year, which means many students will change schools.

Despite the reconfiguration, high school students who were in ninth through 11th grades this past school year at East or Chaney will be able to remain at that school if they choose.

“We’ll also allow families who already have a scholar at one high school to send their younger scholars to that high school as well,” Jennings said. “We know families want their children to stay together, and we’ll honor that.”

The reconfiguration will shift the district to six pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade schools, two sixth- through eighth-grade middle schools, an early college middle school, an alternative school, two traditional high schools, an early college high school, a career and technical center and the virtual school. 

The two new middle schools will be East Middle School at the P. Ross Berry Campus and Chaney Middle School at the McGuffey Campus.

Each middle school will feed into the high school for which it’s named.

Rayen Early College Middle School, now housed inside Chaney High School, will move into its own building at 58 Williamson Ave., which is now home to Williamson Elementary School.

Wilson Elementary School will become Wilson Alternative School.

The district’s elementary schools under the realignment are Harding, Martin Luther King and Taft, which will feed into East Middle School, and Volney, Kirkmere and Bunn, which will feed into Chaney Middle School.

Parent YOU Class of 2021 will graduate Friday

The inaugural class of YCSD’s Parent YOU will graduate Friday. The event begins at 5 p.m. and will be available for viewing on Zoom.

Adoph Brown III is the commencement speaker. He is a businessman, investor, author, urban and rural school educator and scientist. 

He was raised by a single mother in an inner-city housing project. When Brown was 11, his only brother, Oscar, was murdered. Growing up, he spent many summers on his grandfather’s farm and was sent to the library for time-outs during elementary school.

Brown was the first in his family of five to attend Head Start, graduate high school and attend college.

YCSD’s Parent YOU kicked off in January with sessions offered monthly through May.

Nineteen YCSD parents attended all five sessions and received certificates of completion and graduation caps. Five parents who attended at least three sessions received participation certificates.

“We’re very pleased with the participation our first year,” Linda Hoey, YCSD’s chief of family engagement, said in a news release. “We heard a lot of positive feedback, and we’re looking forward to next year’s YCSD Parent YOU and offering even more useful information to our parents.”