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W.E.B. Dubois Academy kicks off first school year

Updated: Aug. 15, 2018 at 2:09 PM EDT
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Each student at the academy wears a jacket and tie to class. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Each student at the academy wears a jacket and tie to class. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A long-awaited moment finally has finally arrived for Jefferson County Public Schools.

"Once you walk through these doors everything changes for the better," Principal Robert Gunn said to a student. "Let's do it."

JCPS students returned to class from summer break on Wednesday. In addition to new students, the district also welcomed a new school, the W.E.B. Dubois Academy, to their roster.

157 sixth grade boys make up the academy's inaugural class.

As students began to arrive at school, Gunn explained the school's core mission morning.

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"It is to engage, to eliminate barriers and empower each young man we serve to achieve excellence," Gunn said.

Each student wears a tie and jacket to class.

"It's fly," student Devin Alvis said.

The Dubois Academy is a 1:1 school for technology and teaches lessons geared towards minority male students. It aims to close the achievement gap that plagues JCPS and other school districts around the country. There's only a handful of schools like this one in the country.

>> More JCPS news on wave3.com

"A huge focus of our curriculum is to make sure that we look at things through an afro-centric and multicultural lense," Gunn said. "The days are long gone, at least for our building, of looking at history to where it's not being desensitized."

"We're really working hard to make sure our teachers teach a different way and our students learn a different way - in a real authentic way in the classroom," JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.

The DuBois Academy currently shares a campus with Male High School. They're working on finding a permanent location and plan to grow to become a sixth through eighth grade school serving 450 students.

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