Dunbar School may get the Jumoke treatment

BRIDGEPORT — While teachers were being feted at the Holiday Inn on Wednesday and parents were holding a do-over election with a lot of outside group interest, district officials and a planning committee were holding a meeting at Dunbar School to talk about how they would turn around the failing school once it is in the Commissioner’s Network.

Three models were considered — the Six to Six Interdistrict School Model, the Classical Studies approach and the Jumoke Academy at Milner model. One, Jumoke, appears to be the favorite.

Jumoke is a charter school in Hartford, that recently also assumed control of Milner, a failing public school in Hartford under at $345,000 annual contract.

Michael Sharpe, Jumoke’s CEO came to Dunbar Wednesday with a number of staff to explain the model and answer questions before everyone was fed dinner.

Sandra Kase, chief administrative officer for the district, said she likes the Jumoke model because it can be done quickly and be customized to fit Bridgeport’s needs. Though Jumoke at Milner is very much a work in progress, Kase said she liked what she saw on her visit there, Jumoke at Milner has an extended school day and year and there are two adults in every classroom.

Dunbar, like Milner, would remain a district public school, not a charter school.

It’s unclear how much Jumoke operators would be paid if it was chosen to run Dunbar but Kase said the money would come from the extra dollars the district gets for Dunbar under the Commissioner’s Network.

In Hartford, Jumoke replaced the principal and most of the staff. It is uncertain what they would do at Dunbar. It would largely depend on the agreement with the district.


Linda Lambeck