Wednesday, January 17, 2001
CPS redesigns high schools
Tech, college prep programs would try to lower dropout rate
By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati's high school students could have new choices in August.
Options for juniors and seniors would include information technology, a virtual (online) school and traditional college prep programs.
Freshmen and sophomores could take advantage of preparatory academies focusing on the basics needed to pass the state proficiency test in reading, writing, math, science and citizenship.
Plans to restructure Cincinnati Public Schools' five neighborhood high schools were hashed out by the Board of Education and administrators Tuesday. The board is expected to approve the new schools at its Monday meeting.
The new options also include an international, a vocational and a military school.
The district has spent more than a year studying ways to redesign its large high schools Aiken, Taft, Western Hills, Withrow and Woodward into small-model high schools.
High dropout rates and low passing rates on the state proficiency test prompted the need for redesign, which the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (CFT) proposed a few years ago.
Rick Beck, CFT president, said he thinks the district needs to be more aggressive in its redesign, which would happen in phases.
Changes could be more dramatic if we planned for a year and then implemented it all at once, Mr. Beck said. They are rushing something they don't need to.
More than $3 million in grants would be used to train teachers and implement the programs, which also would serve special-needs students.
I don't think the issue is whether or not there needs to be redesign, but what should the redesign be? board member Harriet Russell said.
Here are the basics:
Walnut Hills, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Hughes Center and Clark Montessori high schools would not be part of the restructuring.
Schools would be organized into two components: a preparatory academy for ninth- and 10th-graders and a senior institute for juniors and seniors.
Tenth-graders would have to meet standards to advance to the senior institute.
Each school program would have its own curriculum, and enrollment would be limited to 600.
Students would be able to attend any high school in the city.
If the plan is approved, here's what will happen come August:
Taft will open the information technologies senior institute and preparatory academies.
Aiken will operate a college preparatory senior institute and preparatory academies.
A virtual high school will be in a facility to be determined.
The district's other high schools will begin planning to start preparatory academies and senior institutes for the 2002-2003 school year. This will include Western Hills and Withrow.
GOP backers set to party
Tone will be different from Clinton/Gore celebrations
CPS proficiency rank declines
CPS redesigns high schools
Most seniors dropped by HMOs yet to pick backup
Goal: 'Health-care independence' for seniors
Missionary loses home, but not hope
Tristate group aids quake victims
CROWLEY: One-man show
RADEL: Documentary in the making
SAMPLES: Birth was surprising, traumatic and scared the dog
Boone courts plan 50-year run
Boost sought for care tax
Campbell sees need for ball fields, trails
Cathedral bids are in
Defense fund for officers collects more than $19,000
Hamilton police vow to fight cuts
Intruders still at large
Kenton Dems set short list for chair
Kenton urges later poll hours
N.Ky. agency's new Web site to attract employers
Northside student fasts to protest new Army school
Painters compete for cash
Schools to ask for $50 million
Shooting range near completion
Sludge cleanup cost exceeds $46 million
Trial to begin in death of 8-year-old girl
Twp. OKs new zoning
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report