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SUBJECT: City of Duluth, the Duluth Public Schools and Lake Superior College announce unprecedented partnership to form The Duluth Academy
BY: Pakou Ly
City of Duluth, the DuluthPublic Schools and Lake SuperiorCollege announce unprecedented partnership to form The DuluthAcademy
An unprecedented partnership between the City of Duluth, the DuluthPublic Schools and Lake SuperiorCollege was announced today that will create an innovative educational, workforce development and community enrichment hub called The Duluth Academy.
Mayor Don Ness, ISD 709 Superintendent Keith Dixon and LSC President Patrick Johns described the many advantages The Duluth Academy will have for the community, including the campus’s central location within HistoricOldCentralHigh School. Additional programming will be provided at LSC and online.
"The DuluthAcademy will be a center of educational innovation, a vital link to our local economy, and a strong, modern educational anchor in the center of our city,” said Mayor Ness. “This partnership will help define the future of public education in Duluth, and the building that has symbolized Duluth public schools for the past 120 years will now be home to this very modern and innovative model."
The DuluthAcademy is intended to provide a multitude of educational opportunities, including:
Postsecondary Enrollment Options
Adult Education Opportunities
Apprenticeships, Training for the Trades
"Strengthening our workforce through education and skill development is the key to a healthy local economy and future job growth,” added Mayor Ness. “One of the first questions prospective companies ask about is the availability of a qualified workforce.I'm convinced that The Duluth Academy is going to result in a competitive advantage in our ability to attract these major employers to Duluth.I greatly appreciate the leadership and partnership of the DuluthPublic Schools and Lake SuperiorCollege for their commitment to this model."
Superintendent Dixon said Mayor Ness first presented his vision of partnering on the concept of a DuluthAcademy nearly two years ago and it has since evolved.
“Mayor Ness sought to maximize the combined resources of the city and the school district to provide new educational and employment opportunities for Duluth citizens, and since then we’ve been jointly exploring the possibilities,” said Dr. Dixon. “Over the past year we’ve met several times to incorporate our existing programming, refine the concept and expand on its potential, including asking Lake SuperiorCollege to be part of this unique partnership with its many great resources.
“Students will be able to personalize their learning through a variety of educational opportunities such as project-based learning, college prep, online learning, work-based learning, and much more.”
LSC President Johns said various forms of these programs are already offered by Lake SuperiorCollege and the DuluthPublic Schools.
“Many of these educational opportunities already exist in Duluth, so we’re not necessarily reinventing the wheel,” said Dr. Johns.“But what we’re proposing is an excellent new way of meeting the programming, scheduling and job-placement needs of an ever-changing citizenry. All three partnering organizations know the difficulties associated with balancing education with jobs, family commitments and other day-to-day realities. The DuluthAcademy will help provide that answer for hundreds of people.”
Mayor Ness said the next steps are for the partnering organizations to engage various stakeholder groups to develop an in-depth plan, finalize details during the coming year and begin implementation of The Duluth Academy in the fall of 2011.