Districts proposal outlines school closings
by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, May 2005) As part of a plan to reduce a projected $36 million deficit for next school year, Cleveland Municipal School District administrators propose school closings and massive changes in student assignments for the upcoming school year. The proposed closings are projected to save the district $15.8 million.

The proposed changes, to be voted on at the May meeting of the Board of Education, include 13 permanent school closings, nine temporary school closings, and eight schools to be used for swing space. Additional changes in student assignments will result from efforts to comply with No Child Left Behind requirements and continuing transformation of the district’s middle and elementary schools to K-8 schools.

In the area served by the Plain Press, two schools are slated for permanent closing and two schools are being considered for use as swing space.

The administration proposal calls for the permanent closing of Kentucky Elementary School. Kentucky is the only elementary school remaining north of Lorain Avenue in the Ohio City neighborhood. Under the plan Kentucky students will be reassigned to Waverly, Dunbar and Scranton Elementary schools.

The second school the administration proposed to close is Halle, a 6-12 grade-learning center for students having a difficult time adjusting to traditional middle schools and high schools. The proposal calls for Halle students, and students from Jesse Owens, to be reassigned to Margaret Ireland Schoolon E. 63rd in the Hough neighborhood.

The administration calls for two schools in the Plain Press service area to be used as swing space: Tremont Elementary School and H. Barbara Booker Montessori Center on W. 67th near Lorain Avenue.

Tremont School is proposed as swing space for Rhodes High School reconstruction. Under the district’s plan two of Rhodes High School’s four small high schools will be moved to Tremont during reconstruction of the high school. Approximately 800 high school students will move to Tremont. Tremont elementary school students will be reassigned to Scranton Elementary School.

Under the district’s proposal H. Barbara Booker Montessori Center students will be reassigned to a new school while the school is transformed into a K-8 neighborhood school.
A public meeting on proposed changes at H. Barbara Booker is scheduled for Thursday April 28th. A public meeting on the future of Tremont School will be held on Friday April 29th. Both meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln West High School.  A meeting to discuss Kentucky School was held on Monday April 11th at Lincoln West High School and a meeting on Halle School was held on April 11th at East Technical High School. (see related articles.)

In addition to the above changes, the administration has proposed that Brooklawn, Joseph Gallagher, Watterson-Lake and Marion Seltzer schools become full K-8 schools this coming school year.

Other schools to be converted to full K-8 schools under the plan include Buhrer, Clark, Marin, Orchard, Walton and Denison Schools. Thomas Jefferson Middle School, which has not met its Adequate Yearly Progress Goals under No Child Left Behind for the past 4 years, will be shut down and reopened as a K-8 school. Garrett Morgan School of Science will be expanded to a grade 6-10 school.

The May meeting of the Cleveland Municipal School District is currently scheduled on May 10th at Martin Luther King High School, at E. 71st and Hough Avenue. The work session begins at 4 pm. The business meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Call 574-8585 to confirm the date and location
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