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Digital arts high school fills ninth-grade class; Bard could follow soon

One of CMSD's new high schools has filled all of its ninth-grade seats for the 2014-15 school year, and another is getting close.
The digital arts school, which accepts students on a first-come, first-served basis. has hit the cap and is placing names on a waiting list. The school, a partnership between CMSD and the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, will follow an extended day and be in session all year, alternating 10 weeks of classes with three-week breaks.
Bard, which will be operated in conjunction with Bard College of New York, is still sifting through more than 150 applications to determine who meets the school's admissions criteria. Bard students will be able to obtain both a high school diploma and college associate degree in four years. The school is accepting 11th-graders, as well.
The District also is recruiting ninth-graders for two new small high schools that will share the John F. Kennedy High School campus after a year spent at another site to solidify their cultures.
E3agle Academy (the three E's are envision, engage and excel) and PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking) are intended to rejuvenate JFK. The schools, which are being developed with a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corp., will emphasize advancement based on mastery of standards, flexible scheduling and a blend of online learning and classroom instruction; E3agle will also stress leadership, while PACT focuses on a project-based approach.
CMSD is a portfolio district that allows students to attend the school of their choice if space is available and, in some cases, like Bard, they meet admissions criteria. While the District is promoting all of its schools, recruiters are focusing in particular on eighth-graders who have yet to select a high school.
The District is calling homes and has sent postcards and letters. In the last two weeks, the number of uncommitted eighth-graders has dropped from 1,500 to less than 1,200, said Kevin Alin, director of school choice and enrollment.
Among established high schools, MC2STEM High School has filled more than 100 of the 120 seats available to incoming ninth-graders. The school, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, conducts ninth-grade classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, 10th-grade classes at GE's Nela Park campus and 11th- and 12th-grade classes at Cleveland State University.
Max S. Hayes High School, which specializes in career and technical education, has enrolled nearly three-fourths of the 200 ninth-graders it is seeking for next school year.