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Schools staying busy with classes, meals (Photo gallery)






Summer break is under way, but CMSD schools are staying busy.

Monday brought the start of the Elementary Summer Reading Academy, for children in kindergarten through third grade who are behind in reading. The program will run most weekdays through July 12 at nine sites.

Also starting Monday were an enrichment program for students learning English as a second language, a “credit recovery” program for high school students and the serving of free lunch and dinner to help keep students fed over the break.

More than 100 students reported to Paul L. Dunbar School on West 29th St. near Lorain Avenue for the summer reading academy. That number is expected to grow.

Though the school year ended less than two weeks ago, Cedric McEachron, summer school at principal at Dunbar, said the mood was upbeat. Parents who accompanied many of the students were excited to know their children would receive intensive assistance in small groups. More important, the kids were eager.

“I did not get the feeling one bit that it was ‘Oh, I don’t want to be here,’ ” said McEachron, who during the year is an assistant principal at Clark School. “It had a typical first-day-of-school feel.”

Just under 1,200 students showed up Monday for the summer academy, which the District funds with federal and state grants. Data from recent years shows that students who regularly attended the academy achieved strong growth in reading, said Nicole Vitale, executive director of early childhood education and PK-12 literacy.

The improvement is particularly important for students who are at risk of retention for failing to meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. They will get two chances during the summer to take assessments and earn promotion.

More than 200 students are enrolled in the enrichment and summer school program at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, located on West 46th Street near Clark Avenue. Seats remain open in the second and third grades, said summer Principal Maria Feliciano.

Feliciano said the children will get close attention from teachers certified in TESOL, which stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. English as a Second Language teachers will provide one-on-one assistance where needed. The program also continues until July 12.

Credit recovery classes, being held through July 3 at Jane Addams Business Careers Center, 2373 E. 30th St., are helping students in the ninth through 12th grades stay on track to graduation. Students follow an online curriculum with the help of classroom teachers.

CMSD is part of a summer feeding network that includes the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and other agencies.

The District program, which is in its fourth year, allows students to eat for free at 12 lunch sites and two buildings that are open for dinner. Adults who accompany the students eat for $3 each. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses the District. For more information, go to

Other activity can be found this summer at the Closing the Achievement Gap summer bridge program for eighth-graders moving up to high school, being held at East Tech through june 20. And nine year-round high schools will be in session until June 26. Year-round students will begin the 2019-20 school year during the last week in July.