YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip continued his tour to get suggestions on how to improve the district at East High School Tuesday night, but very few parents showed.
Mohip ended up meeting with 16 teachers from East. He started by saying, “the school that was known for the fight will revolutionize.”
Traci Cain graduated from East High School and has been teaching there since it opened almost ten years ago. She says the lack of parental involvement is something that adds to the school’s list of problems.
“It’s very far-stretched as far as parents coming in. It’s only a handful that show up. You have that parental involvement when it comes to athletics but when it comes to the academics and other things involved in the school, there’s a very small amount of support.”
Mohip says getting those families involved ultimately falls back on his shoulders.
“If parents aren’t coming, I’m not going to blame the parents for not being there, I’m going to take a look back at the district. What is it that we’re providing? Because obviously, it’s not being valued.”
He asked the group of teachers for their help because he knows East High faces several challenges.
The school has 18 new teachers this year and will be fully staffed on Monday, with several new career and STEM-oriented classes being offered.
With many changes already being made, Principal Denise Vaclav-Danko says the school will become a place people want to send their kids.
“We’re headed in a new direction with expectations with academics, and our focus is our students here at East and to have better quality all the way around.”
Cain says the school has to raise the bar for students.
“If we can get all of the staff to be on board, increase their expectations to say, ‘I’m not going to let you fail. What can I do to assist you, to help you be more successful,’ then that’s what we’re going to do.”
Mohip says once he can see the classrooms in action, he’ll have a better idea of how to improve academic rigor.
“How comfortable are our teachers and how knowledgeable are they of our standards? Do we have a good, sound understanding of what our instructional framework is and are we successfully implementing that? So those are some of the things we’re taking a look at,” he said.
Mohip has three more meetings left before school starts on Monday.
Another event taking place before the start of school is “The March 4 Hope” on Sunday at 1:45 p.m. The organizer says his teams is “very concerned about the district and East High School.”
They say the event is not a protest, but meant more for encouragement.
The march will begin at the Price Memorial AME Church and end at East High for a 3:30 p.m. rally in the gym.
Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s basketball coach James “Dru” Joyce, who coached LeBron James, will be the featured speaker. Mohip and YSU President Jim Tressel also plan to be there.