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School year arrives: What you need to know


Most CMSD students return to school Wednesday, an earlier date than in the past.

Two high schools at the John Hay Campus will begin even sooner, resuming classes Monday, while 14 other District schools will wait until Aug. 18. Four year-round high schools started their calendars July 28.

Families who still need to register students can do so at neighborhood schools. They can sign up at the closest school even if their children will attend a school in another part of the District.
Registration also will be conducted at the East Professional Center, formerly East High School, at East 79th Street and Superior Avenue, and Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, 3145 W. 46th St.
Under a policy initiated during the 2013-14 school year, students in the ninth through 12th grades who live at least a half-mile from school can take RTA for free.

Sixth-through eighth-graders who live at least a half-mile from school also can take RTA at the District’s expense. If they live more than a mile from school, they have the option of traveling on District buses if seats are available.

Students who qualify for the RTA service can ride without a pass or ticket on the first morning of school. By that afternoon, they should have been issued a pass or ticket.

District buses will transport younger students who live more than a mile from school.

A call center is being staffed seven days a week for families and caregivers who need bus assignments and other transportation information.

Attendants will field calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 29 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday until Aug. 23. The number is 216-838-4287 (4BUS).

This is the second full year that CMSD will operate under The Cleveland Plan, a sweeping state-approved blueprint for reform.

Significant changes include:

• Expanding a portfolio of high-quality options, two new year-round high schools -- E3agle Academy and PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking) – are sharing the former Cranwood School. The schools, which will eventually take over the John F. Kennedy campus, were developed with a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

• Cleveland High School for Digital Arts, also operating all year, will share a building with SuccessTech Academy. The digital-arts school was launched in partnership with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, formerly Young Audiences.

• The new Bard High School Early College Cleveland will allow students to earn a high school diploma and associate degree in four years. The school is one of only a few operated in conjunction with Bard College of New York.

Ten newly designated Investment Schools will receive intensive academic intervention and other supports to create a better school climate, increase family and community engagement and raise achievement. This brings the number of Investment Schools to 23.

• Student-based budgeting has given individual schools more authority over their spending, the idea being to place control in the hands of people who best know what their students need. Schools also have more freedom in hiring.

• Students will take more rigorous state exams that are based on the Common Core State Standards.

• CMSD will continue to strengthen customer service with the S.T.A.R.T with Heart model provided by the Cleveland Clinic.

• The District will roll out a fleet of 225 new buses. The fleet will include 49 propane-fueled buses, part of an experiment in energy efficiency.