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CMSD releases proposals for facilities, programs
CMSD NEWS BUREAU
CMSD has released tentative recommendations for the future of academic programs and facilities and will seek feedback at community meetings, starting Saturday.
The recommendations would reduce a large number of empty seats by consolidating some schools and phasing out others. Shrinking the District’s footprint also would help concentrate resources, strengthen academic and career-technical programs, expand electives and activities and place more students in higher performing schools and new or renovated buildings.
Find complete information on the recommendations and the District’s planning process at qualityschoolsforCLEkids.org.
“These are hard decisions, but our current situation is not sustainable,” CEO Eric Gordon said. “The moves we make now will position our schools for the future and help keep the promise we made with The Cleveland Plan to give every student access to a quality education.”
The recommendations, which take effect as early as next school year, include:
- Consolidate Glenville, New Tech Collinwood and Martin Luther King Jr. high schools at the existing Glenville location. Though located in one building, effective next school year, current students would remain part of New Tech Collinwood and Martin Luther King until their classes graduate.
- Consolidate Jane Addams Business Careers, New Tech East and Washington Park Environmental Studies high schools at East Tech. Current Jane Addams and Washington Park students would move but be considered students of those schools until they graduate.
- Phase out and close Design Lab Early College and New Tech West high schools because of low enrollment.
- Build a new Lincoln-West Campus, home to the Lincoln-West School of Global Studies and Lincoln-West School of Science and Health. The project, which was already planned, 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.
- Relocate Whitney M. Young High School and make it a gifted and talented program in a new JFK Campus that is to be ready for next school year.
- Follow earlier recommendations to close four K-8 schools – Case, Iowa-Maple, Michael R. White and Willow – and consolidate two -- Clark and Walton – in a new building. The District also would build a new Marion C. Seltzer and renovate Joseph M. Gallagher.
Declining enrollment has left the District with a huge supply of extra space. Most of its 100 schools are below capacity.
About 40 percent of high school seats are empty. The problem is particularly severe on the East Side, where forecasts indicate CMSD will have more than 7,000 excess seats in 2022. On the West Side, the number is predicted to be 700.
Under these recommendations, forecasts indicate 78 percent of seats, including K-8 and high school, will be full in 2022. That is 12 points higher than currently predicted.
As a first step in the planning process, CMSD conducted a citywide analysis of data on academic quality, enrollment and choice patterns, program viability, and building use and condition.
The District then shared the data and sought community feedback at a series of meetings that began in the spring. The recommendations incorporated themes found in the feedback – for example, calls to offer better access to career-technical education on the East Side.
While Glenville would continue to prepare students for college, the tentative plan would make the school a career-tech hub, starting with public safety and health careers programs now housed at Martin Luther King. The school would seek to add other career training pathways, taking into account workforce trends.
CMSD also would invest in building improvements, including new furnishings, signage and landscaping, at Glenville and, if state funding is approved, would consider building a replacement.
The recommendation for East Tech would bring together its current culinary program with one offered at Jane Addams. It also would consolidate agriculture programs offered at East Tech and Washington Park. As at Glenville, the District also would upgrade the building and add programs.
Students would continue to use a greenhouse and other facilities at Washington Park, with the District providing transportation. The Rhodes School of Environmental Studies also would travel to Washington Park.
Community meetings are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Jane Addams, 2373 E. 30th St., and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the James F. Rhodes Campus, 5100 Biddulph Rd.
Times and dates for four additional meetings may be found at qualityschoolsforCLEkids.org.
The Board of Education will review the recommendations at a retreat scheduled Nov. 1-2.
The school board is to receive final recommendations when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at East Tech, 2439 E. 55th St. The board is expected to vote at a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Lincoln-West Campus, 3202 W. 30th St.