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November 2011

The Leona Group congratulates its charter school campuses on their many successes.

Your commitment to educating the whole child is positively impacting the lives of thousands of urban families in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. While not everything that counts can be counted, one measure of success is each state’s school report card. Congratulations to the schools which have received high marks and congratulations to Saginaw Preparatory Academy and Academy for Business & Technology elementary for being named among Michigan’s top schools “Beating the Odds” by the Michigan Department of Education. “ Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” - Albert Einstein



Academy for Business & Technology, elementary Broward Community Charter School West César Chávez Academy, lower elementary Dr. Robert H. Faulkner Academy Liberty Arts Academy Saginaw Preparatory Academy





Broward Community Charter School César Chávez Academy, upper elementary

The Leona Group is proud of all of its schools for the amazing and positive impact they have on the lives of families. The state report cards are one measure of this success. When you look at the data differently, though, you find schools like César Chávez Academy High School (CCAHS). At first glance you may see that the school is in Phase 4 of Improvement.

Dig a little deeper and you will also see: • For the second straight year, CCAHS is the third ranked academically performing public high school in Detroit, both in top-to-bottom rankings and test scores. The top two schools preceeding CCAHS only accept students based on an application/examination process. CCAHS accepts all students. • The school’s spring 2011 test scores make Chávez the highest performing charter high school in Detroit. • Michigan Merit Exam five-year growth rates (2007 – 2011): Math - 250% | Reading - 48% | Writing - 600% Science - 84% | Social Studies - 27% We are constantly and consistently improving throughout The Leona Group family; keep up the great work!

César Chávez Academy, middle school Discovery Charter Middle School Francis Reh Public School Academy Gilbert Arts Academy Joy Preparatory Academy, Oakman campus Mildred C. Wells Academy South Ridge High School Timothy L. Johnson Academy Traverse City College Preparatory Academy Voyageur Academy

Dr. William Coats, Chief Executive Officer for The Leona Group

This year, Leona Group successfully opened four new schools: Eagle Academy Secondary, Havasu Preparatory Academy, Lake Erie Junior High School and Mission Heights Preparatory High School.

Responding to resounding parent demand, Havasu Preparatory Academy provides a high quality educational option to students in grades K-8 in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Also in Arizona, Mission Heights Preparatory High School opened in Casa Grande. Both schools provide a strong focus on academics, with the ultimate goal of college preparation. They feature nurturing, small school environments, high expectations, quality educators and a personalized and tailored experience.

Celebrating success I take this opportunity to congratulate each of you on your many successes. In addition to important standarized measurements of achievement, it is the relationships we effect with the families we serve that make our efforts most meaningful. We know that to have life-changing schools we have to have world-class teachers. Your commitment to educating the whole child is changing the lives of thousands of families in urban centers.


3 Vocational education is the focus of program growth at Sun Valley and Tempe Accelerated high schools in Arizona. Students who dream of a career gain valuable experiences and insights while attending high school, and graduate wellprepared for higher learning or the career of their choice.

Xochitl Calix attended 10 different schools before starting at César Chávez Academy as a sophomore. Xochitl graduated in 2011 with a 3.74 high school GPA and over $100,000 in scholarships. She now attends the University of Michigan. “I got to know my teachers, counsel ors and principal really well. They had high expectations for me and encouraged me to apply to Ivy League schools. You connect with the staff on a personal level because they do care about you. School was like a second home for me.”

At Sun Valley High School, students have responded with great interest to programs that prepare them for careers in several fields including: nursing assistant, child development, pharmacy technician, A+ Certification, help desk technician, fitness training, criminal justice associate and H & R Block tax preparation. “80% of Sun Valley students live in poverty. These students need to work while they are attending school and completion of our career programs can lead to immedi ate job placement.” ~ Shawn Coats, director of vocational education at Sun Valley High School

Tempe Accelerated High School offers the following vocational education train-

In Ohio, Toledo’s Eagle Academy expanded into a new secondary campus, meeting the emerging needs of students as they progress through elementary school. The new campus serves students in grades 6-9, with plans to add grades each year to ultimately serve students through grade 12. Also in Toledo, Lake Erie Academy has added a junior high school which currently serves students in grades 6-8. In addition to four new buildings, several Leona schools expanded their offerings in exciting ways. Among them:

ing programs: medical assistant, pharmacy technician, computer information systems training and early childhood development. Technology plays a key role in how students learn today. That is why Achieve Career Preparatory Academy features three computer labs, the newest being a 3D lab where students enter a room specifically designed for the cutting-edge experience. Students work on 3D educational models, giving them 360° capability in multiple subject areas. This lab allows us to take learning to a whole new level, better preparing them for the real world.

Leona Group charter schools often become pillars in their communities, providing services, events and collaboration that unite and bring life to their neighborhoods. By building partnerships, holding community events and being a resource to area families, the schools have become friends to many. Every Leona school has many examples of community partnerships in action.

A few recent community outreach program examples: The South Pointe Learning Community is offering a series of festivals and events designed to bring neighbors, community organizations and educators together. Quarterly CommUnity Festivals unite neighbors in celebration and support of one another. The festival highlights family resources including employment, counseling, health services, after-school activities, art, food banks and more. The schools also host periodic community events such as Family Fun Nights where guests can explore science, math, language arts and social studies. At South Scioto Academy, the community enjoyed a Movie on the Lawn. Over 150 people came out for a special screening of Hocus Pocus on the big screen. The fall weather cooperated as families reserved space on the school lawn and enjoyed refreshments during the film.

graduates return just to let us know how they are doing. In are especially fortunate to have an alumnus working with our girls volleyball team.” ~ Alicia Alvarez,

principal and school leader, Alta Vista High School

Leona employees assembled for one of three kickoff events held in Arizona, Ohio and Michigan, a day of collaboration, professional development and sharing stories that remind us why every job at Leona is important, valued and significant.

Michigan Michigan’s event focused on Staging Quality at Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple. The venue came alive as Leona’s Michigan educators convened for a day focused on quality, improvement and engagement for all.

“We’ve had numerous

Anaid’s case, we



Anaid Jordan is a former Alta Vista High student and now a member of the Alta Vista High School staff. Anaid enrolled as a freshman in August of 2004 and graduated as class salutatorian in 2009. This past May, Anaid earned a degree in Spanish & Portuguese with minor in sociology and psychology from the University of Arizona. While a student at Alta Vista High, Anaid played on the girls volleyball team. With degree in hand, she returned to Alta Vista High to coach the 2011 volleyball team. Anaid is also pursuing a teaching certificate in Spanish and will be student-teaching at Alta Vista High School.

Ohio Ohio was “Under Construction,” with building and designing data team meetings, standards and results, value of teams and driving instruction using student work and results as the topics of their development day.

Arizona Growth for All was the focus in Arizona, where staff engaged in professional development surrounding effective elementary and secondary growth models.

Broward Community Charter School and Discovery Middle Charter partnered with Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine to participate in Operation Gratitude. Students donated their Halloween candy to send care packages to U.S. military men and women.

4660 S. Hagadorn Rd., Suite 500 East Lansing, MI 48823

H Congratulations to returning Peoria Accelerated High School sophomores Jade Hess,

On the front panel

H Dr. Paul Merritt, school leader at the Academy for Business & Technology Elementary School,

The Abbott brothers from Havasu Preparatory Academy arrive at school to begin a new day. Shown left to right are: Jesse, grade 3; Landin, Kindergarten and Damon, grade 4.

Tomas Vasquez, Elva Ordaz, and Ernesto Guzman. For their academic commitment and success, each has been awarded a new net book computer. was overcome with gratitude when he saw the many boxes of books that his school received from the University of Michigan Dearborn’s curriculum lab. His school’s 375+ students will directly benefit from the generous donation.

H Consortium College Preparatory High School student Jasmine Knight was recently recognized

for her poetry talent; her work will be published in an upcoming anthology, A Celebration of Poets.

H El Dorado High School is proud to offer free child care as a service to its students. Full-time students are able to enroll their children into the Wolverine Cubs Center.

H Francis Reh Public School Academy celebrated the opening of its brand new preschool building with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The building is dedicated to the late Sister Diane Hoffman, the school’s founding leader and visionary of the preschool program.

H Congratulations to Casey Zordani, Christina Bierling and Estrella High School. The school won the Arizona Department of Education’s Coordinated Review Effort (CRE) Award from last year’s audit. The award will be presented at the November Mega Conference.

Contact us! The Leona Family Times is a quarterly newsletter published throughout the school year for Leona Group employees. If you have comments, suggestions or story ideas, send them to: Leona communications & marketing department Tel: 517.333.0535 Fax: 517.333.4559 If you would like to receive an electronic version of Family Times, send your request to the e-mail address shown above.

Making e-connections Leona’s corporate Web site. Leona’s employee intranet site. Leona’s employee Citrix login site. Leona’s employee e-mail login site.

Family Times - November 2011  

Leona Group quarterly newsletter.

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