Dayton school officials announced at a news conference on August 9th that Dunbar High School will open on August 15th as an early college high school. An agreement under development between Dayton Public Schools and Sinclair Community College will enable students to learn college-level material and earn free college credit.
Larry Ballew was named by DPS to lead the new program as dean of Dunbar Early College High School. The Cincinnati native will draw from his expertise as a principal in the urban public school and charter arenas and as CEO of his own educational consulting business to work with DPS and Sinclair in refining and expanding the early college program.
"We are asking our families to envision a school where there is a culture of high expectations and success for all students and the community is involved" said Ballew. "The only cost to students and parents is commitment and hard work."
Eventually, when fully implemented, a freshman who enrolls in Dunbar and remains with the program for four years will have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma in one hand and a two-year college degree in the other.
"This partnership brings vital resources and opportunities to the students in our community that are in the direst need," said Sinclair President Steve Johnson. "Sinclair's mission has always been about finding and meeting the unmet needs of the Dayton area. This project is the next step in that endeavor and we are very excited about its tremendous potential."
To help students tackle college coursework, early college schools provide aggressive supports and enable them to drive their own learning through group work and other interactive classroom strategies in all subjects. Dunbar has begun this summer with a weeklong orientation program Aug. 5 through 9 to help selected incoming freshmen make the transition to high school and meet the challenges of an early college curriculum.
Dunbar faculty who teach college-level courses will successfully complete a process by which they will become adjuncts at Sinclair Community College. Students in those classes will earn dual high school and college credits.
DPS also is partnering with Jobs for the Future, which helped to launch the Dayton Early College Academy, a district-sponsored community school.
Transformation of Dunbar into an early college high school is the last piece of the plan to revitalize three schools serving students in prekindergarten through high school: Louise Troy PreK-4 School with a focus on primary literacy, Wogaman 5-8 School with a focus on the successful transition to high school, and Dunbar Early College High School, preparing students who are college and career ready. The principals at each school will work together to provide a seamless transition for students with strategies for academic success.