Metro Early College High School, a partnership of Ohio State University, Battelle and the Educational Council consortium of Franklin County school districts, welcomed sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students last week for the first time in the science, technology, engineering and math school's seven-year history.
Joseph A. Alutto, interim president at OSU, and Battelle President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Wadsworth, were on hand to welcome the influx of young people to the independent STEM school on Kenny Road near campus.
"You guys have been such an awesome addition to this school," Metro Early College Chief Academic Officer Aimee Kennedy said during her opening remarks.
Whereas the middle school students had been at the facility earlier in the week, Aug. 22 marked their first official day of classes.
"We're going to work with you to bring the real world into your classroom," Kennedy said.
All of last year's seniors graduated from Metro Early College High and 100 percent of them were accepted into colleges and universities, including such institutions as Baldwin Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Northeastern University, OSU, Ohio University, Penn State, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tulane University and Wittenberg University, according to the website for the school.
"This is a very special school," Alutto said. "We've been delighted to be involved with it from the beginning."
Metro Early College will help all students, including the newcomers and freshmen, gain stills that they will "find invaluable," Alutto said.
"This curriculum will really adapt to your learning style, and that's an insight that will help you throughout the rest of your lives," Alutto added.
"Welcome to a new school year. Welcome to an outstanding institution."
"This is a very, very special place," Wadsworth said. "We're really thrilled today to celebrate the expansion."
Gordon Battelle, who in 1929 founded the research institute that bears his name, did so in part to reinvest in education, according to Wadsworth.
"This is a core purpose that we have," he said. "This school is our crown jewel. It's second to none. It's the most important thing we invest in."
The Battelle CEO said Metro Early College has been such a success that similar programs based on that model now exist in 17 states.
"That's something people should be very, very proud of, that we have an impact on other states," Wadsworth said.
"In about 10 years, we will have a whole new crop of Battelle employees for you," Kennedy told Wadsworth.