The generous extension of an Accelerate Great Schools (AGS) grant award will allow the Spencer Center for Gifted and Exceptional Students to widen its doors for hundreds of qualifying students. The $90,000 award supports robust planning to expand the school, currently serving about 350 students, to accommodate an additional 250-500 children. Fondly known as the Spencer Center, the school currently serves grades 3-11. The AGS grant funding provides for expansion to grade 12.
Spencer Center is a citywide public magnet school. The thoughtfully designed school was founded upon six pillars:
Spencer strives to equip its graduates with "the capability and confidence to pursue their passions, with the skills and empathy to lead and collaborate, and with a love for and drive to do great things."
AGS recognizes that effective educational strategy incorporates best practices in gifted instruction; professional development and intelligent facility design to support student learning. The grant supports each of these measures, while stressing the importance of community engagement to ensure buy-in, throughout the build out of the multi-faceted effort.
With a mission to grow the number of great schools available to all children in Cincinnati, AGS believes that "every child in every neighborhood deserves a great K-12 education." The complex work of AGS is focused by three straightforward precepts: Engage the community; expand what works; and support school talent. The close knit team, brings a wealth of knowledge to project planning and is engaged with grant seekers early on to ensure successful program design.
In 2017, a $350,000 AGS grant award helped the Spencer Center open its doors for the first time. Initially, serving students in grades 3-8, the successful school has added one grade level each year. From the beginning, AGS stipulated that development efforts include strategies for expanding access to gifted and exceptional programming for traditionally underserved students. The ongoing requirement of demographic data reports helps facilitate collaborative conversations between the foundation and the district to meet mutual goals.