IDN-October 2014

In District News

October 2014


When The Plan for Transforming Cleveland’s Schools was approved two years ago, CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon and the Board of Education promised citizens that children in every neighborhood in the city would have access to a quality education.

But where students learn plays a role in how well they learn. That is why fully transforming Cleveland’s public school system from top to bottom also means providing students with quality buildings suitable for a 21st Century education.

CMSD’s master facilities plan was revised with that connection in mind.

The revised facilities plan, which the Board of Education approved in June, calls for building 20 to 22 schools and refurbishing 20 to 23 others.  Read more...



  • Issue 4 will allow for construction of 20 to 22 new schools and the refurbishing of 20-23 schools, and it also will generate $2.5 million a year for building maintenance – all without raising taxes.
  • The state will provide more than $2 for every $1 the District spends on construction. That means Issue 4 will bring in an estimated $256.8 million from the state for Cleveland's schools without raising taxes.
  • Issue 4 authorizes $200 million in bonds for new construction and a half-mill tax for maintenance.
  • The owner of a $50,000 home will pay $44.10 per year.
  • CMSD has spent its construction dollars prudently while building and renovating 41 schools since 2001. The District saved taxpayers $42.2 million by refinancing and paying off debt early.
  • The CMSD facilities plan that is to be funded by Issue 4 is aligned with the groundbreaking Cleveland Plan. The facilities plan gives CMSD the flexibility to start more new school models and provide every neighborhood with access to quality school options.
  • The Cleveland Board of Education has adopted the city’s Community Benefits Agreement to guide future construction. That will prioritize employment of city residents, minorities, females and small businesses on CMSD projects.
  • The independent Bond Accountability Commission, which was created in 2001, will continue to monitor the use of bond funds.
Issue 4 Did you know...?


Principals, assistant principals and members of the Cleveland Teachers Union will be exempt from further performance evaluation requirements if they file written, irrevocable notices of retirement or separation by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1.

Principals, assistant principals and CTU members who have already filed notices or file by Dec. 1 also will be exempt from Student Learning Objectives and other student growth measure requirements.

The retirements and separations will take effect at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

For more information about Employee Early Separation Notice Plan, email Gracie Cole, manager of employee benefits at



The CMSD Communications Office will train principals to make automated telephone calls and send mass emails so they can communicate quickly and effectively with their schools’ families.

The office also will teach principals -- or staff members they select -- to create and manage their own school websites.

To date, more than 60 principals have received instruction in delivering IVR (Interactive Voice Response) calls and email blasts. Principals and schools are reminded that they must frequently update phone (including cell phone) numbers and email addresses in E-School Plus.

Six schools have launched their own websites and nearly 20 more are preparing to do so. Active pages may be found at

The Communications Office also will meet with principals to discuss design of marketing materials.

For help with any of these services, call Tom Ott, manager of the CMSD News Bureau, at 216-543-8920 or email him at



The Executive Grille The Executive Grille restaurant is open for business at CMSD’s Jane Addams Business Careers Center, located at 2373 East 30th Street near Cuyahoga Community College.

The restaurant, operated by culinary arts students, is open from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. most Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during the school year.

Free parking, gift cards and take-out service are available. Takeout orders may be placed by calling 216-685-5135.

The restaurant welcomes comments, which can aid lesson planning and help develop students’ skills.

Executive Grille offers a full menu and uses whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Find the menu at

A Thanksgiving buffet is planned Nov. 12-13.



CMSD’s Ginn Academy was honored for its healthy habits during a summit held in September in Washington, D.C.

Zerrine Bailey, whose job involves encouraging such a mindset, hopes other District schools take heed and follow Ginn’s example.

Bailey works full time in the District for the national Alliance for a Healthier Generation, sponsor of the Healthy Schools Program. Ginn achieved bronze status, the program's third-highest level.

United Way of Greater Cleveland and the Mt. Sinai Health Care and St. Luke’s foundations pay Bailey’s salary.

“It is extremely unique across the country that the District has someone working just for them,” said Bailey, who started work April 1. “Our funders here felt it was really important.”  Read more...



Communicate with Heart The Communicate with H.E.A.R.T program is attempting to train all schools in the customer-service model before the Thanksgiving break.

At last count, 32 schools were scheduled to complete training by the end of October. Trainers also have worked with 35 departments.

Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. is a proven customer satisfaction program based on a model developed by the Cleveland Clinic and customized for CMSD.

Launched on Valentine’s Day by CEO Eric Gordon and Dr. James Merlino, head of the Clinic’s Office of Patient Experience, the program was initially provided for employees in the Administration Building at 1111 Superior Ave.

H.E.A.R.T. includes S.T.A.R.T. with Heart,” the upfront engagement component, and “Respond with H.E.A.R.T.,” a service recovery model.  Read more...



The CMSD News Bureau can tell your school’s stories directly to the public.

How is your school carrying out the reforms in The Cleveland Plan? Do you have one of the many compelling news stories or inspiring features that abound in the District?

The bureau’s text and video stories are posted to the District’s website -- -- broadcast on community access TV, distributed via social media and sent to community publications and interested stakeholders. We also will post videos and photos that you contribute.

Tom Ott, a former Plain Dealer reporter who covered the District for three years, directs the News Bureau. Staff include former Plain Dealer reporter Mike Scott, former WKYC reporter and multimedia journalist Shannon Kantner and webmaster Mike Goodill.

Staff members are also available to work with student journalists.

To suggest story ideas, call Tom at 216-543-8920 or email him at Ideas also may be sent to


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The Board of Education does not unlawfully discriminate in educational programs, activities or employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, economic status, religion or disability.