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Three schools hold first graduations (Video)

A Cleveland High School for Digital Arts raps at graduation about self-worth, school support and education.




Three of CMSD's new high school models said goodbye to their first graduates last week. 

The Cleveland High School for Digital Arts held commencement Saturday at Cleveland State University's Main Classroom Building. JFK PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking) and JFK E³agle Academy (the E's stand for envision, engage and excel) conducted ceremonies Thursday at the District's East Professional Center. All three opened four years ago with ninth-graders and added a grade each year.

The Cleveland High School for Digital Arts, located downtown, integrates recording arts technology, digital filmmaking, video game design and graphic design with core subjects.

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning developed the concept for the school, basing it on a CAIL summer-enrichment program that proved popular among teenagers. The center assembled a national advisory board to help with planning.

"I could not be prouder as I see this first class graduate," said Marsha Dobrzynski, the center's executive director. "I am pleased that so many of them had a chance to explore their creative selves in the digital arts while also learning the traditional subjects. I know that, as a result, they are leaving with more confidence and eagerness to try new things that will stay with them througout their lives."

Carnegie Corporation of New York provided $3 million to help launch JFK PACT and JFK E³agle. PACT emphasizes problem-based learning and E³agle focuses on social justice.

Three other new models -- the John Marshall schools of Civic and Business Leadership, Engineering and Information Technology -- celebrated their first graduations on May 26 at the John Marshall Campus. (Watch a video about the John Marshall School of Information Technology's first College Signing Day ceremony.) 

Under The Cleveland Plan, a customized blueprint for education, CMSD provides a variety of school options and lets students and families choose so they can find the right fit. The new high school models are smaller, more personalized and prepare students for college and 21st Century careers. 

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