New Dayton school looks to take innovative approach at education

DAYTON — A radical and innovative approach to education is unfolding in Dayton with the opening of the Greater Dayton School.

The new school is funded by Kids In Community, a non-profit agency set up by Dayton entrepreneur Larry Connor. It houses a brand new concept in education and school officials are doing everything they can to make sure students learn.

Elementary age students at the Greater Dayton School go through a vision exam early in the school year. If a student fails, they’ll head out to a One Sight van on site and opticians and optometrists will determine what exactly their eye needs are.

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“Our students that don’t pass the vision screening get an eye exam and they walk home with a pair of prescription eyeglasses,” AJ Stich, Greater Dayton School principal, said.

Trish Nguyen, of One Sight, said about 10-14 percent of kids in Ohio are incorrect with their vision care. She said she believes catching, and correcting vision problems early can transform a child’s future.

Stitch told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that if you can’t see, you can’t learn. That’s part of the whole approach to education that the school uses.

Only students from low income background, that qualify for Medicaid, can apply for a spot in this private school. The school also brings in dentists and doctors and even provides their students three meals a day as part of their program. Parents of students must buy in, Stich said.

“Families pay, they pay a fee,” Stich said. “It is important that families but into the model, have some skin in the game.”

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Stich said Connor, who recently went to space as part of the first all-private space crew, has been hands on with the school.

“He’s a big part of the vision that went into this school,” Stich said.

Connor’s investment in the school will move it to Deeds Point for next fall. They’re in the process of building a brand new school.

“The sky is the limit to what potential our students have,” Stich said.

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