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MC2STEM fills ninth grade, joins the list

Another CMSD high school has reached its quota of incoming students for the 2014-15 school year.

MC2STEM High School has filled all 120 seats in its ninth-grade class. The innovative high school focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in classes conducted in ninth grade at the Great Lakes Science Center, in 10th grade at GE’s Nela Park campus in East Cleveland and in 11th and 12th grades at Cleveland State University.

Another high school, New Tech West, could follow soon. The project-based New Tech, which shares a building with Max S. Hayes High School, is close to meeting its target for ninth-graders.

The Cleveland Plan, CMSD’s state-approved blueprint for reform, calls for the District to offer a portfolio of options, allowing students and families to choose the school that best fits their needs. Breaking from past practice, the District has so far not assigned schools for students who have failed make a selection.

Recruiters are focusing on eighth-graders who are entering a pivotal year. At one point, about 1,500 eighth-graders, out of more than 2,800, had not picked a high school. The number of undecided eighth-graders is now down to about 800.

CMSD saw “immediate demand” for two new options, said Kevin Alin, executive director of school choice and enrollment.

The new Cleveland High School for the Digital Arts, sponsored by the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning,  previously  reached a goal of 100 students in its inaugural ninth grade and is placing names on a waiting list.

Bard High School Early College Cleveland, operated in conjunction with Bard College of New York, has received 179 applications for the 100 openings in its first ninth grade. The school, which allows students to earn a high school diploma and associate degree in four years, has admissions criteria that include an interview and letters of recommendation.

Enrollment is gaining traction for the ninth grades at two new small schools that will share the John F. Kennedy campus after one year spent at the former Cranwood School to get their footing.

E3agle Academy (the E’s stand for envision, engage and excel) and PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking) will feature advancement based on mastery of standards, flexible scheduling and a blend of online learning and classroom instruction. CMSD is developing the JFK schools with a $3 million grant from the Carnegie Corp.

Among elementary schools, the single-gender Warners Girls’ Leadership Academy has reached its enrollment cap in the first grade and sixth through eighth grades.

A lottery was conducted to fill 99 seats available at Campus International, and 82 students were placed on a waiting list. The school, which is housed at Cleveland State University, offers kindergarten through sixth grade but will eventually extend through 12th grade.