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Cleveland Schools CEO Recommends Delaying Collinwood Closure

After much discussion and debate, Cleveland school officials may delay the closure of Collinwood High School.

District CEO Eric Gordon has advised keeping the school open for one more year before deciding its future.

Gordon’s recommendation comes after the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) received vocal feedback from community members opposing the closure of Collinwood. In a written statement, Gordon called on community leaders to work to recruit and retain students, as well as develop a manufacturing pathway to assist them in finding employment later on. He is also asking for help to fill the 228,000-square-foot building with community users.

“I believe that this proposal, if embraced by the Collinwood community, provides a meaningful chance to improve the academic programming for students,” he said in the release. “It also recognizes our civic responsibility as a community partner.”

The district originally recommended closing Collinwood due to “a surplus of empty seats.” It has a capacity of about 3,000 students, but only about 200 are enrolled currently, according CMSD.

The original plan called for Collinwood students to attend rival Glenville High School.

Councilman Anthony Hairston praised Gordon's recommendation, saying the delay would allow stakeholders to develop programming and curriculum to keep the school viable.

“We will all be working together to ensure that this historic school remains a neighborhood anchor in the Greater Collinwood community,” Hairston said.

Gordon also withdrew a recommendation to close New Tech West High School, due to a lack of options for relocating its program. But he still recommends consolidation or closure for other schools in the district. That includes consolidating two K-8 schools, Clark and Walton, and closing four: Case, Iowa-Maple, Michael R. White and Willow. Gordon also recommends phasing out Design Lab Early College High School.

Under the new recommendations, East Tech, New Tech East, Jane Addams Business Careers Center and Washington Park Environmental Studies would all consolidate at East Tech's campus. Similar programs at each of the schools would be combined, but the greenhouse and other facilities at Washington Park would be included in curriculum.

Gordon is also calling for a new Lincoln-West Campus, which would house global studies, science and health.

The school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at East High School to discuss and possibly vote on changes to programs and facilities.

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