New Xenia school with STEAM curriculum approved by Ohio to open

A rendering of the Community STEAM Academy - Xenia, which will be located on Church Street. CONTRIBUTED
A rendering of the Community STEAM Academy - Xenia, which will be located on Church Street. CONTRIBUTED

A new independent public school in Xenia will be bringing STEAM education to area students as early as fall 2022.

Community STEAM Academy Xenia, located at 135 East Church Street has been approved by the state to teach science, technology, engineering, arts and math through project-based learning. Housed in the former YMCA building, students will begin learning at CSA-Xenia beginning in the fall 2022 semester, beginning with grades 6-10.

The school plans to work up to the K-12 level, and currently has capacity for about 325 students, said founder Dr. Jeremy Ervin. The school will then expand to host grades 11-12, and then expand to teach K-5 students in the former East High School building on Market Street. Over the course of the next four years, Ervin said, they hope to expand their enrollment to 1,200 students.

Similar to other schools like the Dayton Regional Stem School or Global Impact STEM School in Springfield, CSA-Xenia is a tuition-free public school, and is open to any student in the state. The school is also open enrollment, or decided by lottery if they receive more applications than available seats.

Ervin said he and the board of directors created CSA-Xenia to give parents and guardians new potential options for educating their children.

“The whole point of STEAM is it’s available to all. Looking at the amount of options for what’s available in Montgomery County and Clark County, it became apparent that there are a lot of community STEM-designated schools in those counties, whereas there are very few in Greene County,” Ervin said. “Our goal not to compete with public schools, but to provide an instructional model the current offerings don’t avail themselves of.”

Ervin, who has been a STEM educator for 25 years, added that they sought the STEAM designation, which includes the arts, because humanities studies supplement science and engineering fields in ways that keep children engaged with what they are learning.

“I started realizing almost 30 years ago that understanding math as it pertains to a problem or a specific context helps them understand it better, and helps them think mathematically,” Ervin said.

In addition to technical and project-based learning, CSA-Xenia will also have a rigorous arts and humanities program, Ervin said.

“Nothing in life is done in a vacuum,” he added. “An engineer has to be able to write, to communicate. You have a passion for one thing, and you can tailor projects to align with a student’s passion. There’s a lot of different ways to demonstrate mastery of education standards.”

Applications for CSA-Xenia will become available at the school’s first open house, which is planned for Dec. 13.

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