Newark, OH (March 20, 2023) – GOAL Digital Academy changes locations in Downtown Newark. The new location will better serve youth in a larger facility with enhanced capabilities and is now located at 140 West Church Street in Newark, Ohio. The Newark lab, previously the YWCA of Newark, was originally built in 1968. It all started with a one-room building and grew into the location that it is today. Spanning approximately 8,000 square feet, the new facility consists of a Main Lab, Special Education Room, Orientation Room, Various Offices/Meeting Spaces, a Behavioral Health Office, Kitchen, and spaces for a shower and washer/dryer.
Before becoming the GOAL Newark lab, the program in place was known as the Proteen Center, run by Lea Anderson. It was an alternative education center for students that didn't "fit in" at a regular brick-and-mortar school district. The GOAL Digital Academy Newark students have greatly benefited from the recent change with having additional access to educators and resources. In 2017, 30 students were enrolled. Currently, there are 136 students enrolled and 10 staff members dedicated to the Newark location, in addition to other remote learning educators on staff.
Director of Partnership & Family Engagement, Jessica Caughlan, stated, "I started working with the Proteen Center in 2011 by providing enrolled students with a curriculum from the Virtual Community School of Ohio. In 2017, when I started working for GOAL, the Proteen Center switched their curriculum for the 30 students that were registered with them to GOAL. In 2019, the Proteen Center decided to become a lab for GOAL Digital Academy, so we added the Newark location."
While GOAL is an online school, they realize the importance of developing relationships and having opportunities for in-person support at the labs. GOAL students are required to live within 25 miles of a lab, and they can attend any lab in the network on a drop-in basis to receive additional support and tutoring from teachers, tutors and aides. Lab attendance is optional, but students who access the additional support tend to excel and reach their goals faster. GOAL does not offer transportation to the labs but can work with families to find the best option to get students to the lab.
Jeff Grimmett, Principal and Director of Operations for GOAL Digital Academy, mentions, "My ultimate goal is to make each lab safe and secure. When staff and students feel safe, it will lead to positive learning environments and more academic success." GOAL plans to protect students in compliance with the Ohio Department of Education's safety standards and the existing Emergency Operations Plan. The school’s security system now includes nine additional indoor and outdoor cameras, complete with access control for all exterior doors. While students will need to ring a buzzer to enter the lab, this extra layer of security will ensure the safety of everyone in attendance at GOAL.
The GOAL Digital Academy Newark lab, located at 140 West Church Street, serves students in Newark and the surrounding areas, and is looking forward to hosting students and families for its first Open House on April 26th, 3:30-6:30 p.m. GOAL Digital Academy's Newark lab hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Parents or guardians interested in knowing more about GOAL can call (740) 785-1421. Enrollment can be done online at https://www.goaldigital.org/.