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Ideastream Public Media documentary follows an Akron school's efforts to address inequities

A video camera on an upper floor films students in the entryway of a high school.
Glenn Syska & Zak Boyle
Ideastream Public Media
A camera films students in the entryway of Ellet CLC High School in Akron, Ohio.

Research says that students are more likely to succeed in school when they are in a safe and supportive learning environment, but not all students feel safe or supported at school. In fact, there are many inequities in how students are treated in the state.

The Chidren's Defense Fund-Ohio study found Black students were four to six times more likely to be disciplined with suspension or expulsion than their white peers. And students with special needs and lower income students were disproportionately impacted by school discipline.

Personal stories and expert voices on the pursuit of safe, supportive, equitable learning environments.

Over the last few years, Akron Public Schools decided to address some of these inequities and improve school culture by partnering with REL Midwest to improve learning outcomes. One of the schools that recently went through an equity audit and training was Ellet Community Learning Center.

A new Ideastream documentary called "You Are Welcome" premiers this Friday on WVIZ PBS. It will broadcast again on Monday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. It spends time at Ellet CLC talking to students, educators and experts about what it takes to create a positive school climate.

We're going to spend most of Monday's show talking about these issues of equity, inclusion and belonging with some of the people involved in the documentary.

Later in the hour, we'll preview a Community Fair happening Saturday, May 18 at Bolton Elementary School, part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, that aims to help kids better manage stress.

-Hannah Couch, 9th Grade Physical Science Teacher, Ellet CLC
-Constance Smith-Clemens, School Librarian, Ellet CLC
-Gina Catanzarite, Writer/Producer, "You are Welcome"
-Jameela Conway-Turner, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, REL Midwest
-Devon Carter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Practice – Special Education, University of Akron
-Gerard Banez, Ph.D., Pediatric Psychologist, Cleveland Clinic
-Lamont Davis, Family Support Specialist, Bolton Elementary School

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”