Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School to Officially Partner with Metroparks

Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:37:00 AM
1220 West 6th Street
Suite #207
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Contact: Lauren Sterle
CLEVELAND, OH (NOVEMBER 14, 2013)—  Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School is making history as one of the first urban schools to officially partner with the Cleveland Metroparks.
Thanks to a substantial grant from the Toshiba America Foundation, Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School (NEO) will be offering a hands-on Environmental Science course in 2014.  The TAF grant will provide resources for high school students at NEO to perform field techniques such as water chemistry testing, macroinvertebrates sampling, and live trapping. The course will culminate with students developing and engineering a conservation plan to improve the health of an aquatic ecosystem alongside Naturalists at Metropark’s Rocky River Reservation.
According to Dr. Terry Robison, Interim Director of Natural Resources for Cleveland Metroparks, the project will allow students “to gain an appreciation of how human actions affect the water resources that are of vital importance to the recreational and economic well being of the Great Lakes region.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of African-Americans employed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations was 8% or less in 2011. By offering this elective course, NEO—a member of the non-profit charter school network I CAN SCHOOLS—hopes to increase student interest in conservation and biological studies. As lab work and undergraduate research become increasingly important in college science curriculum, this Environmental Science course will allow low income urban students to begin chemistry and biology courses more prepared than many of their peers.
Krista Mershimer, Co-Director and Dean of Curriculum and Instruction for NEO Upper School, states, “We are overwhelmingly excited to learn of the Toshiba America Foundation grant award. The project was designed with the intent to immerse urban high school students into ecosystem stewardship. The collaboration between NEO and Cleveland Metroparks will allow students, staff, and the local community to engage in their roles as they relate to the health of the Rocky River ecosystem.”
I CAN SCHOOLS is a non-profit charter school management organization created by passionate, successful educators and teachers. The mission of I CAN SCHOOLS is to prepare students for a college preparatory high school that ensures acceptance and graduation from a four year college and/or university. I CAN SCHOOLS is dedicated to providing all students with an education that supersedes standards of excellence. After three years of attending I CAN SCHOOLS programs, 100% of the students are performing at or above grade level. Currently, 100% of ICS eighth grade graduates have entered a college preparatory high school.
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