Woodson Academy founder developing similar school in Jefferson County

Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington has gotten national attention for its success in educating males of color.
Carter G. Woodson Academy in Lexington has gotten national attention for its success in educating males of color. File photo.

The educator who founded Fayette County’s Carter G. Woodson Academy will be the project manager for a similar school aimed at educating males of color in Jefferson County.

Roszalyn Akins’ firm SNIKA Educational Consulting LLC had the low bid of $125,000 to help Jefferson County schools establish the program, said Jefferson district spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin.

Expected to open in the 2018-19 school year with Jefferson school board approval, it will be called W.E.B. DuBois Academy, named after the author and civil rights activist, WDRB-TV in Louisville first reported.

Carter G. Woodson Academy provides an advanced and rigorous curriculum through the lens of black history, culture, literature, teaching and learning strategies. The traditional college preparatory program, which launched in the fall of 2012, serves about 200 males in grades 6-12, according to the district’s website. Akins said she works part-time as the school’s dean of students at Carter G. Woodson.

There is an emphasis on academics, structure, expectations, and family and community involvement. The school has partnerships with colleges and universities, and students are given opportunities to travel.

The program is open to males of any race, but it is patterned after Black Males Working, or BMW, a private educational enrichment program for young black males that First Baptist Church Bracktown opened in 2005.

C.B. Akins, Rosz Akins’ husband, is pastor of the church and a former Kentucky Board of Education member who was recently named to the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, a statewide citizens group that advocates for improved Kentucky schools. Rosz Akins retired from Fayette County Public Schools about 12 years ago after teaching for 27 years.

Akins said she has had an educational consulting firm for a while. It also offers speaking engagements and conferences.

Rosz Akins, Carter G. Woodson students, and Fayette County school board member Daryl Love have been to a Jefferson County board meeting to provide details about Woodson. Akins said Jefferson school officials have visited Carter G. Woodson.

“They have admired what we’ve been doing here in Fayette County,” Rosz Akins said. She said people from other districts in Kentucky and from other states have also visited Woodson. District officials told the Herald-Leader in 2014 they were pleased with the early results in academic achievement at the academy.

Carter G. Woodson Academy is moving from the Crawford Middle School building to the Frederick Douglass High School building on Winchester Road when it opens in the fall of 2017.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears