Recommendations change for Collinwood, New Tech West
CMSD NEWS BUREAU
CEO Eric Gordon is recommending that the Board of Education delay closing Collinwood High School for at least a year while the District works with the community to expand programs, increase enrollment and find users to share the building.
Gordon also will withdraw a recommendation to phase out and close New Tech West High School. The decision takes into account academic performance that is better than that of neighboring schools while also acknowledging a lack of options for relocating the program.
The school board will continue studying other recommendations for the future of CMSD programs and facilities. A vote may come Tuesday when the board meets at 6:30 p.m. at East Tech High School, 2439 E. 55th St.
CMSD is trying to address a huge surplus of empty seats, particularly on the East Side. The District has been working since spring to develop a long-term plan that maximizes use of limited resources, puts more students in higher performing schools and modernized buildings and delivers on a promise, made in The Cleveland Plan, to give every child access to a quality education.
But the changes also take into account feedback gathered at an extensive series of community meetings and online and board discussions.
Collinwood leaders have protested closing the building, which once held more than 3,000 students but now has barely more than 200. Gordon called on them to form a Friends of Collinwood High School group that will, among other things, develop a manufacturing pathway to train students for high paying, in-demand jobs. He also is asking them to drive efforts to recruit and retain students and find users who will fill excess space and help restore the building to status as a neighborhood anchor.
“I believe that this proposal, if embraced by the Collinwood community, provides a meaningful chance to improve the academic programming for students,” he said. “It also recognizes our civic responsibility as a community partner.”
Collinwood would have been consolidated with Glenville and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools at Glenville, with the District sprucing up the building and adding career-technical programs. The rest of the plan would remain in effect.
Other recommendations include:
- Consolidating East Tech, New Tech East, Jane Addams Business Careers Center and Washington Park Environmental Studies at East Tech. The plan would combine a culinary program from Jane Addams and agriculture program at Washington Park with similar programs at East Tech. Students from East Tech would travel to Washington Park to use a greenhouse and other facilities, as would students from Rhodes School of Environmental Studies on the West Side.
- Moving Whitney M. Young High School’s gifted and talented program to a new John F. Kennedy Campus that will open next school year.
- Phasing out and closing Design Lab Early College High School.
- Building a new Lincoln-West Campus, home to the Lincoln-West School of Global Studies and Lincoln-West School of Science and Health. The project would be part of continuing modernization program funded by the state and a local bond issue. Since 2002, CMSD has built or substantially renovated nearly 50 buildings.
- Closing four K-8 schools – Case, Iowa-Maple, Michael R. White and Willow.
- Consolidating two K-8 schools -- Clark and Walton – in a new building. The District also would build a new Marion C. Seltzer and renovate Joseph M. Gallagher.
The District used the community meetings to share data reflecting academic quality, enrollment trends and forecasts, and building use and conditions across the city. Recommendations reflected that data and the feedback.
The school board and the Bond Accountability Commission recommended that CMSD revisit its five-year-old building plan based on current neighborhood population and enrollment patterns, changes in academic programming and rising construction costs. The commission is an independent watchdog created to monitor the building modernization program.
Learn more about the District's school planning at qualityschoolsforCLEkids.org.