History of the Academy for Ideal Education
The Early Formative Years
Once upon a time a DC public school teacher dreamed about an ideal school where children (and adults) would learn to be happy and would be happy to learn. She envisioned a place that taught basic skills to one, or in small groups. She envisioned a place, which nurtured the growth of the whole person in body, mind and spirit.
In the fall of 1979, that teacher, Rev. Nsoroma Imaan (aka Paulette Bell-Imaan), brought her dream in the world of form by opening the Ideal Learning Center (ILC), a holistic, tutorial and enrichment center. Through dedication, hard work, innovation and great teaching, the Ideal Learning Center grew into a well-known force in the quest for ideal education in the Washington community.
The Ideal Learning Center has offered, and continues to offer classes, tutorial workshops, and seminars to hundreds of individuals and scores of groups, organizations, and businesses throughout metropolitan Washington, D. C. Our clients have included persons from all walks of life, from welfare recipients to professional executives and U. S. congressmen. The most important student, however, is every child, for Ideal believes that there is an Ideal person in each and every student.
In 1991, ILC expanded to the Academy for Ideal Education and became a full-time, spiritual-based educational program for pre-primary to fourth grade students. The emphasis is on the development of the whole person in body, mind, and spirit. This program - that began with six students - has expanded to include a high school program, and presently provides classes for more than 100 students on two campuses.
One exemplary feature of Ideal is the special education inclusion program, provided for students with special needs. The small classes, individualized instruction, tutoring and psychological and speech therapies insure that all students reach their maximum potential. About 15% of the total student body is comprised of special needs students. Many parents of both high achieving and underachieving students have found an effective learning environment in the Ideal Academies.
In September 1999, the Associates for Ideal Education, the tax-exempt, non-profit organization which operates the Academy for Ideal Education submitted a successful proposal establishing the Ideal Academy Public Charter School. IAPCS opened its doors to provide Ideal Education for 135 students in September,l999. The wholistic educational program of the Ideal Academy Public Charter School was conceptualized and created by Paulette Imaan, and modeled after the Academy for Ideal Education, the private school. IAPCS currently has 350 students, from pre-school to grade twelve, matriculating on two campuses.
In the last 40 years, the Academy for Ideal Education has come from a dream to a reality. The Ideal educational system continues to be a place of visions, a place where ‘Ideal’ education, the Ideal person and the Ideal community are the goal.