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Four CMSD high schools start classes Monday


The new school year will get off to an early start when four CMSD high schools begin classes Monday.

MC2STEM, E3agle Academy, PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking) and the Cleveland High School for Digital Arts will follow a year-round calendar that alternates 10 weeks of classes with three-week breaks.

E3agle (the E’s stand for Envision, Engage and Excel), PACT and the digital arts school are new this year. The schools will open with ninth-graders and add a class per year for the next three years. 

E3agle and PACT, developed with a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will eventually take over the campus of John F. Kennedy High School. The digital-arts school, launched with help from the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, will share a downtown building with SuccessTech Academy.

The Cleveland Plan, CMSD’s state-approved blueprint for reform, calls for offering year-round options. As of the 2011-12 school year, 3,700 public schools in the United States operated year-round, according to a report released in June by the Congressional Research Service. The service conducts policy and legal analysis for the House and Senate.
MC2STEM (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opened in 2008. The school’s ninth-graders take their classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, 10th-graders go to GE Lighting’s Nela Park Campus in East Cleveland and juniors and seniors serve internships, take college courses and complete their high school education at Cleveland State University.

Mc2STEM Head of School Jeffrey McClellan said that he thinks the school's year-round schedule prevents "learning loss" and that the intermittent breaks keep students refreshed. He acknowledged that going to school all year is an adjustment particularly for incoming ninth-graders.
"I'm sure we will have to be calling some people reminding them that they are supposed to be in school," he said. "There's always some confusion that we have to work through, but it doesn't take very long."
Other CMSD schools will not go all year but will still open well before Labor Day, the old traditional start of the school year. The early start provides more instruction before state assessments are given in October.
The majority of CMSD schools will open Aug. 13.

The Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Cleveland School of Architecture and Design, high schools at the John Hay Campus, will open Aug. 11.

Riverside K-8 School, the new Bard High School Early College Cleveland and 10 Investment Schools will open Aug. 18. Bard, operated in partnership with Bard College of New York will allow students to earn a high school diploma and associate degree in four years; Investment Schools receive customized intervention to improve the climate, increase parent and community engagement and raise achievement.