South Side Academy: 1400 Oak Hill Road, Youngstown, OH 44507

SERVING Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

Each student will need something different out of school, and we believe that each student is unique with distinct needs. These individual needs must be met prior to becoming a successful student.

Our vision involves a hierarchy of needs that we have identified as relevant to the educational process. These needs can be visualized as forming a pyramid consisting of, in ascending order, physical and biological needs, safety needs, emotional and love needs, self-esteem needs, and finally self-actualization. Each level must be at least somewhat firmly in place before the next level can be successfully met. The traditional approach to education starts at too high a position in the hierarchy, ignoring the more basic needs and only minimally addressing emotional and self-esteem needs. Because academic learning actually lies in the upper portion of this hierarchy of needs, attempts at education will not work unless the needs below this position in the hierarchy have been sufficiently filled.

We will begin the process of academic turn around by providing programs and systems that address each student’s hierarchy of needs. These programs will consist of initiatives that incorporate the family and the community. You cannot deal with a student’s emotional needs without affecting the environment in which they live. Connecting the family and community with the school will set the foundation for academic turn around to take place.

We take the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” to heart. We understand that community and parental involvement makes an enormous impact on student achievement, student’s attitudes toward school, and their daily attendance. Involving families and the community in our educational processes will create strong partnerships with families and the community. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory states, "When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more”. We realize that the school’s strength lies in the hands of its families and the extent to which they become involved in the daily activities of students.

Community schools strive to bring together resources in the school, and community in order to produce students that will one day become effective contributors in society.  South Side Academy of Youngstown, Ohio is no different. 

The goal is to become “the right school for the right reasons”.  South Side Academy nurtures the whole students with a holistic approach by offering wrap around services.  This entails addressing a student’s basic needs (physical, cognitive, emotional, and social) to achieve self-actualization.


  • We partner with SMARTS to provide our students with top notch arts education including drumming circles, choir, and dance classes, along with standard vocal music classes and visual arts classes
  • Differentiated instruction for all learning levels with instructional aides, Title 1 teacher, and Intervention Specialists helping to break down classrooms into smaller learning groups
  • We have ActivBoards in every classrooms and 2 ActivTables.
  • Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports with Emulation programs in every classroom.


Initiatives to increase the understanding of grade level curriculum, standardized tests, utilizing state test blueprints, ensuring instruction is appropriately paced, using data to drive instruction, and motivating students to learn.

  • Ohio State Tests (AIR)
    • The average ELA scale score for grades 3-8 has steadily increased from the fall 2015 administration with a 637.12 to the spring 2017 administration with a 677.17.  The scores are moving towards proficiency (700) and provide evidence that learning and growth are occurring.
    • Third Grade ELA – from fall 2016 to the summer 2017 administration, all of South Side’s third grade students have met the promotion cut score of 44.
    • Third Grade ELA – overall average scale score has continuously increased from one test administration to the next.  Please see chart below.
  • Renaissance STAR 360
    • Early Literacy - 16.4% increase in scores from the fall to winter test administration.
    • Grade 3 increased 26.5% in reading from the fall to winter test administration. 
    • Second grade saw a 9.1% increase from the fall to winter test administration in math. 
    • Mathematics – from the fall 16 to spring 2017 administration, grades 2-8 all showed growth (increased overall scaled score). Please see chart below.

Social-Emotional and Community Support Programs

  • PsyCare - Having PsyCare counselors and social workers housed in the school allows students to be serviced as needed and immediately.  PsyCare staff are familiar with the student body and the dynamics of each classroom.  This vital information allows them to customize the type of services the students receive.  For example, the counselor and social workers are able to supply students with coping mechanisms that they know are feasible for the given space of the classroom and the dynamics and interactions of their client along with other students.  They are also able to help implement such skills in the classroom in real time. 
  • OSU Extension - South Side Academy has OSU Extension educators in the school for a 10-week program to further our knowledge of nutrition and awareness.  Partnered with OSU Extension and St. Pat’s Church, the students of South Side Academy has planted and maintained two small garden plots.  The students were able to plant and harvest vegetables to make their own salsa.  With Youngstown being a food desert, it is extremely important that our students are able to provide for themselves through gardening.  We are hoping to introduce a new generation to self-sufficiency.
  • SMARTS (Students Motivated by the Arts) - South Side Academy students have the benefit of their art and music programs being brought to them by SMARTS which exposes our students to local artists and musicians.  Through SMARTS, the students have been able to visit art galleries here in Youngstown, have had dance classes after school, and have been able to discover different forms of music with the use of bucket drums, piano, guitar, and various other handheld percussion instruments.
  • Saint Vincent De Paul - Our students have been very fortunate to have weekenders going home twice a month during the 16-17 school year.  We have received many testimonials from our families how grateful they are for the extra food that bridges the gap when the students are not in school to receive breakfast and lunch.  Many families have to come to us in a time of need and request that the weekender bags come home more often because they have a hardship.  With the help of Saint Vincent De Paul, we have been able to lessen the burden on many of our family’s need for food.
  • Lions Club - Every year, the Lions Club invites our students with disabilities to their annual Christmas Party.  While at the party, the students enjoy a full holiday meal, dance to the music of the DJ, visit with Santa, and receive a gift personally chosen just for them.  The smiles on the faces of the adults and students when they return to the school reflect the excitement and good time had by all.
  • Boys and Girls Club of America - The Boys and Girls Club supply transportation of South Side Academy’s students to the club after school.  Our parents brought up safety concerns about the students walking numerous blocks to get to the club.  The students were not going to be able to attend the club because the school was too club to the school to get a bus, but too far for the parents to be comfortable with their children walking.  The ultimate decision was that their children would not be able to attend the club during the school year.  We took this concern to the club and were able to secure the club van to pick the students up at the school at dismissal. South Side Academy students and staff participated in the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp as part of the partnership.  Our students were able to experience unique opportunities such as The Cal Ripken Sr. Baseball Camp in Aberdeen, Maryland, field trips to the movie theater and the zoo, the Pro Football Hall of Fame tour, put on a talent show, attended the Vienna Air Show, swim classes at the local Jewish Community Center, financial literacy classes, gardening, a fishing outing, and much more. 
  • Children’s Hunger Alliance About 1/3 of the student population was enrolled in our afterschool program which included a hot meal provided by Children’s Hunger Alliance.  Thanks to CHA, our students were fed a balanced dinner Monday-Thursday on site at South Side Academy.
  • Warrior Time - is the afterschool program at South Side Academy.  During Warrior Time, students were given dinner, had time and assistance to complete homework, and participated in numerous academically and physically based programs including:
    • Gardening
    • Readers Theater
    • Computer Classes
    • Newspaper
    • Challenge 24 math 
    • Team building
    • Scientific Method Activities
    • Power Hour Skill Building
  •  Green Team - Green Youngstown comes into the school with age appropriate environmental lessons.  These lessons make the students more aware of their waste of products and other environmental issues.   It also spotlights recycling at the school.  We house a cardboard/paper recycling dumpster at the back of the school to reduce the amount of waste the school is contributing to the landfills.  The students are active participants in the recycling efforts both in their classrooms and throughout the building. 
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables - All students receive fresh fruits and vegetables twice a week through the federally funded program.  The students were always anticipatory of what the new fruit or vegetable would be and the new knowledge that would come along with it.  They hungered for both the snack and the information when they received their fresh fruit or vegetable.
  • Little Free Library - A Little Free Library is located on the corner of Kenmore Drive and Oak Hill Avenue supplying the entire community with the opportunity to have books in their hands.  Anyone can get a book from the Little Free Library and return it at their leisure or share one of their favorites by placing it in the Little Free Library for others to enjoy.  It’s such a joy to watch not only South Side Academy’s students taking advantage of the books but also students from surrounding schools as well.
  • Mobile Dentist South Side Academy was fortunate enough to have two mobile dentist company at our disposal this year.  The St. Elizabeth’s Dental Clinic were able to service our students in grades 1 and 6 to apply sealants to clean their teeth.  The Community Mobile Dentist then came in to the school to ensure the rest of our students had the opportunity to have their teeth cleaned and examined as well.  Between both services, every student in the building had the opportunity to see a dentist. 
  • Real Eyes - Eye education is important but frequently neglected.  Real Eyes had presentations for students in grades k-3 including movie and sing-a-long components to make it entertaining to the student as well as educational.
  • OH Wow! - The kindergarten staff attended a workshop at OH Wow! in order to bring science to the kindergarten students.  By attending the mentioned workshop, they received a science kit to incorporate into their classroom allowing an early exposure to science.  They were able to achieve a higher level of thinking and excitement with science laying the foundation for the love and confidence in science for years to come.  OH Wow! is also a field trip opportunity for the students where the can experience a variety of science and engineer based activities geared specifically to each age level. 
  • Scrappers - The Mahoning Valley Scrappers Reading Club encourages our students to set and reach goals in reading.  Students were asked to set a goal based on the number of books they would be able to read by a deadline.  By achieving the completion of their goals, the students would earn tickets to attend a minor league baseball game during the community days.  This is an opportunity that is not always afforded to our students.  By encouraging reading, the Scrappers are promoting literacy along with building communities through their Reading Club.  A number of students were able to meet their goals and received their free tickets to watch the Scrappers play.
  • YUMADAOP (Youngstown Urban Minority and Drug Abuse Outreach Program) - YUMADAOP educators service our youth in grades 6-8 in prevention education classes every week.  This is an adult lead class where all students in grades 6-8 participate in numerous activities such as role playing, journaling, and building positive connections.  South Side Academy has joined the YUMADAOP Coalition for Health Promotion to establish and strengthen community collaboration among community non-profits, systems of care, educational institutions, and local government to support efforts to reduce youth substance abuse.  Select students from South Side Academy are part of a student lead prevention group outside of the school day.
  • PANDA Junior Camp PANDA is a youth led, adult guided drug prevention program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  Three of our students received scholarships to attend this year’s camp. 
  • Phantoms - Phantoms Hockey promotes health and wellness to students of the community by hosting a school day game.  South Side Academy students in grades 2-5 were able to attend and received educational materials about staying active to promote a healthy life style
  • Soles of Luv - A group of donors, organized through Soles of Luv, have graciously sponsored our students with shoes and socks.  The teachers are able to “nominate” students who are in need.  We then supply Soles of Luv with shoes sizes.  They then bring a brigade of volunteers to make sure the shoes fit the students as they deliver them.
  • St. Pat’s Community Outreach - Vicki Vicars, through St. Pat’s Community Outreach, has arrange a number of volunteers to help with various events throughout the year.  Through the efforts of St. Pats, Vicki, and their parishioners, we have been able to reestablish our weekender bags with quite a variety, supply meals and/or snacks at our family events, and invite our families to numerous events hosted at the rectory.
  • Millcreek Metro Parks - Millcreek Metro Parks bring field trips to the school making more experiences available to more students.  There are also field trip opportunities available at the parks as well that students are able to take advantage of through field trips or on non-school times
  • OBB Being an OBB site allows parents and guardians to take care of some JFS applications on site where they are familiar and comfortable.
  • Girl Scouts - Girl Scouts attended a family night to pass out some informational fliers to begin to recruit volunteers to possibly get a troop for the girls at South Side Academy.
  • American Red Cross - American Red Cross presented at a family night to inform families of the services available to them when in need.  They also supplied information to have a free smoke detector installed into the families’ homes.
  • Private Donor – a private donor donates clothes, food, and uniforms every year to the school to be distributed as we see fit.
  • Private Donor - A private donor and local business man has generously donated to the efforts of our weekenders. This donor has also provided manpower to assist in picking up food to be delivered to the school and also volunteers to help pack up the bags to send home.