By: Krystle Crossman
Ted Ginn used to coach football at Glenville High School in Ohio. He was also a security guard there. He watched the students struggle every single day because of the rising pressure to do well on tests and state-required exams. He watched students drop out, flunk out, and give up on themselves. He decided one day that he didn’t want to stand by and watch the male youth of the city lose all of their potential and end up in jail or worse. He wanted to do something about it. Ginn went to the school board and the superintendent and told them that he wanted to start a public all-boys academy that was for at-risk youth. The program would be based off of a mentoring model which is very different from regular public schools. The motion was approved and in 2006 Ginn Academy was born.
In its first three years of being open Ginn Academy attracted more than 300 students. While the city of Glenville itself had a dropout rate of 54%, Ginn Academy had a dropout rate of 0%. Not a single student dropped out of the school or gave up. Many came to the school after hitting a rough patch in their lives and realizing that they were headed down a bad road but a normal public school was not going to help them get their lives on track.
The Ginn Academy has a very intense interview and background check process for potential teachers. They hire only the most qualified. On top of having the best teachers the school also has life coaches that are available for one-on-one mentoring with the students. They are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Ginn believes that this is one of the biggest factors of the non-existent dropout rate. If they need anything from advice to a shoulder to cry on the life coaches are there for them even when no one else is. The students have teachers who care and who know exactly what they are teaching.
The curriculum that is used in the school is heavily concentrated on math and science. These are two of the main subjects in the state graduation tests. Ginn wants to make sure that all of the boys are as prepared as possible for the testing. He is a very hands-on director. He knows all of the students by name and knows each of their unique situations outside of the school. He makes sure that he is very involved with every one of them and lets them know that he has an open door policy at all times. These relationships that are built between the educators and the students are the most important tool for learning and the success of this school proves that.