There was a separate open house for parents on Thursday,
August 15, 5:30 to 7 p.m. The first day of school was a
half-day of classes on Friday, August 16.
Escuela Smart Academy
is located at 617 Western Ave., Toledo; it is the former
Westfield Elementary School. The new formatted school’s emblem
contains its name with the word “Alebrijes,” which are
brightly colored Mexican art sculptures of mythical creatures.
TPS and the board at the then-charter school reached agreement
last spring to merge and become a public school. Toledo
education officials were looking to establish a bilingual
elementary and the fast-growing charter school [Preschool –
6] was looking for a new building, quickly, about to outgrow its
maximum capacity of 250 students at its location on Airport
Principal Jessica Molina
remains in place, as do the administrative staff and teachers.
But the charter school became a magnet school, allowing
TPS to recruit new students from outside the district. The
school also expanded to include the sixth grade and a preschool.
Those moves increase the school’s capacity by more than 100
Parents of current students had to re-enroll them because of the
move to TPS, but that wasn’t a problem. The staff ran out of
more than 100 enrollment packets during an informational meeting
last spring explaining the switch to TPS. At the time, Mrs.
Molina Kuhlman called the merger a “win-win situation” for both
students and TPS.
In addition to Ms. Molina Kuhlman and TPS’ Dr. Durant
addressing the grand opening audience, the following also made
comments about the success of the switch to TPS: Ohio Rep.
Paula Hicks-Hudson, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz,
TPS Board Vice President Bob Vásquez, Ms. Lourdes
Santiago [advisory board president of Escuela SMART], and
Escuela Smart Academy 6th grade student Santos Nieto.