LIMA — Lima is one of several Ohio cities chosen as a top development market for a national organization that provides supplemental education in the areas of English and math.
Best in Class Education Center, which is based in Seattle, is looking to expand on the 32 locations that already exist throughout the United States. Currently, Mason is the only Ohio city with a Best in Class facility.
Sharon Peterson, franchise sales director at Best in Class, said Lima was named a top development site due to the number of school districts and overall population, among other factors.
“One of the big variables we looked at with Lima is the overall demographics,” Peterson said. “It’s not too small of a market as far as the number of schools and the number of kids. We think (Lima) can be a very promising market for Best in Class.”
Peterson said Best in Class will determine which Ohio city will be home to a new facility within the next six months.
Best in Class offers comprehensive English and math programs, private tutoring and gifted test preparation for students in preschool through twelfth grade. Peterson said Best in Class features licensed and certified teachers, along with education majors in college who sometimes teach elementary students.
Facilities are able to hold four classes at one time, and students typically come in once a week for a 75-minute session. Peterson said one of the main benefits Best in Class offers is its small class sizes.
“With our English enrichment program, we have a maximum ratio of six students to one teacher,” she said. “In math, the ratio is eight to one.”
Peterson said large class sizes can make individualized learning difficult, given the higher student-teacher ratio and a mix of gifted and struggling students that often comprise a typical classroom.
“A lot of children today have lofty educational goals, and by attending Best in Class, we can make sure they’re on track at a young age,” she said. “But we also help students who are really far behind and who don’t think they’ll ever be able to make it to college. We work with kids at all levels and all ages.”
Another key component of Best in Class, Peterson said, is a focus on developing critical thinking skills.
“One thing we’ve noticed in schools today is they don’t really focus on critical and comprehensive analytical skills,” she said. “With our enrichment program in math, for example, we would include a lot of word problems and a lot of questions that would be included in standardized testing.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima