ARISE Academy will host its Spring Fair on March 9, a month earlier than originally scheduled and will hold another fair in July, the school’s board of trustees said at its monthly meeting Jan. 18.
According to the board, the fair will be a chance for parents to educate themselves about the school programs and volunteer opportunities and will include a registration booth to help re-register students for next year.
“We need to get every local university to come and set up a booth here that day,” Prinicipal Andrew Shahan said. “This is an opportunity for parents to see what ARISE is preparing their kids for in the future.”
The Spring Fair, along with various community events in recent and coming months at ARISE, are among steps taken by the board’s development committee to increase the school’s visibility and help it grow.
Shahan urged the board to engage in more outreach programs around the city and ramp up fundraising efforts.
“There is a lot of money out there that is being given away to schools and we should do all we can to get some for this school,” Shahan said. “This is a chance for us to establish a good relationship with sponsors and a chance for them to get some great press.”
Recently, ARISE has added various after-school programs, including a “Saturday School” financed by a grant from the 21st Century Fund and a “backpack” program, sponsored by Harrah’s, which provides children with food for the weekend or extended holiday breaks.
The hour-long meeting concluded with a principal’s report on changes for next year and recent violence in the neighborhood.
Shahan said he has drawn up plans to expand the school year to 230 days and also to extend the school day to run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition he wants to institute an eight-hour workday for teachers to avoid burnout and also to increase teacher salaries.
Regarding the past week’s spate of violence that left two dead in the neighborhood, school officials have mandated that all staff should leave the school no later than 7 p.m. daily. Shahan called it a precautionary measure to help safeguard students and staff.
The next board meeting is Feb. 15.