High School Choice Fair draws hundreds of families (video)
Under The Cleveland Plan, CMSD operates as a portfolio district, providing different school models to fit varying needs. Students may enroll in the school of their choice if space is available and, in some cases, they meet admissions criteria. Schools have an incentive to maneuver for students: a new system of student-based budgeting gives schools more control over spending but ties their allocations to the size and makeup of their enrollment.
The growing portfolio will expand again next school year as the District offers five new or revamped designs in three new buildings: the John Marshall Campus, the Cleveland School of the Arts and Max S. Hayes. What was known as John Marshall High School will be transformed into three small schools that will specialize, respectively, in engineering, information technology and business and civic leadership.
“I love having so many choices here,” Murray said. “We’ve been looking at private and Cleveland schools, and we can afford to send her anywhere, but CSA looks like it has everything that we want.”
Murray said CMSD officials also helped her figure out a way to have Abigail, who is a visual artist, perform her tryout this weekend because the regular CSA tryouts are not being being held until Feb. 28, the day after a deadline to apply for a private school next year.
“That meant a lot because they were willing to work with us,” she said.
Abigail was beaming and practically bouncing as her mother talked.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I love art, and I would really like to be at a school where there are other artists of all kinds.”
“Of course, check it out,” mom Jenny Ulch said, adding that she is hoping her daughter instead will choose one of the new small schools at John Marshall, the West Side campus that is near where they live and where she attended, or James Ford Rhodes High because of its ROTC program.
“I was a Lawyer of John Marshall and even though I didn’t graduate, I hope she goes there, especially because it’s a brand-new school with so much to offer,” Ulch said. “But she is showing interest in other schools that would require figuring out the transportation issue.”
“We thought it was a good idea to have students here to tell the families what it’s really like at our school,” said FHNT Principal Marc Engoglia. He said all CMSD schools have had to focus more intently on recruiting students.
Facing History New Tech combines the rigor of a project-based New Tech school with the introspection of the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum. The high school, for ninth- through 11th-graders until it adds a senior class next school year, is located on the third floor of the building that houses Charles Mooney K-8 School, 3213 Montclair Ave., in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.
“I know that I’m going here,” said Alex, who said he has arranged to visit the school again later this semester. “The school really hit me. I like the idea of studying a project and working with other students.”
Javier hasn't quite settled on a destination. “I’m also looking at Max Hayes,” he said. “But I do like that kids work on a project together at Facing History.”
“She has no idea what she wants to do or where she wants to go, so this is a great idea – having all the schools in one place where you can talk to everyone,” Tarraut said, picking up information from the John Marshall table.
Shontianna Jackson, an eighth-grader at CMSD's Douglas MacArthur Girls' Leadership Academy, said she already knows her vocation.
“I want to be a real estate agent,” she said as she walked the Wolstein Center concourse with her older sister Shondore Dickson, a 2014 graduate of Design Lab Early College High School.
Shontianna, who attended the choice fair on Tuesday with her school, said she spent a lot of time at the Jane Addams Business Careers Center table and really liked what she saw.
“I’m also looking for a school where I can play sports, especially basketball and volleyball,” she said.