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City of Hialeah Educational Academy, also known as COHEA, is an A rated school located in the epicenter of Hialeah, a city in Miami-Dade County.  Hialeah was incorporated in 1921 and it is the sixth-largest city in the state of Florida with a predominantly Cuban and Cuban-American population making it one of largest Spanish-speaking communities in the nation.

COHEA is committed to providing STEM education to students of all backgrounds and learning abilities, especially because its student population is mostly minorities. The school's current enrollment is 925 students in grades 6 - 12.  The student population has a minority rate of 98% and is predominantly Hispanic with a low socio-economic status.  As a result, 87% of students are on a free or reduced lunch. In addition, 89 students are English language learners. 56 students are in the gifted program and 80 students exhibit a variety of exceptionalities in education.

Since its inception in the fall of 2008, COHEA has taken a STEM-approach to learning. Through its academies – Criminal Justice, Allied Health, Firefighter, Law & Legal Studies, Mass Communications and Collegiate Academy –students make connections between the classroom and the real world. All instructors in these academies are professionals in their given fields and offer students advice and insight into their future careers.

Students in the Criminal Justice Academy have the privilege of learning in an active City of Hialeah police sub-station. Fire Academy classes are held inside of a busy fire station that services thousands of residents. Students in the Allied Health Academy receive hands on training and certifications from Barry University. Mass Communications Academy students film weekly student newscasts in a studio and edit in a Mac lab using Adobe programs. Lastly, Law Academy students perform mock trials in a classroom that simulates a courtroom.

COHEA’s academies are taught by attorneys, firefighters, police officers (including CSI and S.W.A.T) and journalists who bring first-hand knowledge and expertise within their respective careers directly into the classroom making the experience of being a student at COHEA extremely unique and rewarding.  These community leaders have a tremendous impact on students because they are viewed as role-models and are held in high regard by the entire student body.    

The 21st century skills and concepts that students learn in these academies, as well as in their core and electives classes, help shape them into honorable, responsible and respectful members of society. At COHEA, faculty and staff work towards the same goal of educating the whole child and building character. COHEA is committed to providing students with a high quality education that will ultimately lead them on a successful path throughout college, their careers and life outside the classroom. 

COHEA’s purpose is to consistently offer a top-tier quality education that will adequately prepare students to be able to succeed in a competitive environment whether they decide to seek advanced degrees, enter a career in public service or join corporate America.  In addition to providing a rigorous and career-driven education, COHEA has successfully created a culture that instills honor, loyalty and respect with the intention to develop well-rounded individuals who will make a positive impact not only in their respective professions, but also in their communities. 

The school has a faculty consisting of 37 instructional faculty from varied nationalities, professions, and educational degrees. STEM Educators regularly attend STEM-based professional developments, receive project-based learning training, and plan and execute STEM lessons and activities together. The STEM Lead Team meets monthly with the Student Ambassadors, community businesses and parents. Additionally, the school’s security personnel, office staff, paraprofessionals and custodial personnel provide the support needed to maintain its success.

COHEA is a public charter school which first opened its doors in the fall of 2008 as a high school and graduated its first senior class in the spring of 2012.  In the 2012 - 2013 school year, the school became a middle/high school welcoming approximately 30 incoming 6th graders.  The school is situated on Slade Park, a City of Hialeah 13-acre park which includes the original school building, a Recreation center building, 2 lighted tennis courts, 2 lighted little league baseball fields, 1 lighted baseball field, and 2 lighted basketball courts. Adjacent to Slade Park, there is a Fire Station and a Police sub-station. 

The usage of all of these facilities have been maximized in order to benefit and accommodate our students academically and with athletics and extra-curricular activities.  In the fall of 2015, the inauguration of a newly constructed two-story building took place.  This expansion made it possible for the school to increase student enrollment by 200 students for the 2015 - 2016 school year.  A third building occupying a state-of-the-art weight room, a mock court room for the Law Academy, science labs and additional classrooms opened its doors in August 2018.

COHEA has a proven track record of educational excellence by being locally and nationally recognized by the following organizations:

·         U.S. News and World Report “2019 Top 100 Schools in Florida”

·         U.S. News and World Report “2018 Best High Schools” Gold Award

·         U.S. News and World Report "2015 Best High Schools" Silver Award

·         Education Merit and Inspiration (EMI) Award  recipient "2015 School of the Year"

·         Washington Post's "Most Challenging High Schools 2015"

·         The 2014 Daily Beast Ranked Top 25 "Doing the Most with the Least"

·         Newsweek's "America's Best High Schools 2013"

In addition to these achievements, COHEA takes pride in its graduation rate of 99% for the 2018 - 2019 school year, 91% Advanced Placement participation rate, and 99% rate in Career and College Readiness. COHEA provides students an opportunity to use technology on a daily basis for research-based activities through laptop carts, a Mac Lab and multiple computer labs.

COHEA's governing body consists of the City of Hialeah's elected officials, including the mayor as board chair and council members as board members. Through this unique partnership and collaborative efforts, the governing body provides direction and resources to implement curricular and extra-curricular programs for the students.  This support has benefitted the student body's academic and emotional growth.

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