Tuesday, January 23, 2001

High school revamp OK'd

More options for juniors and seniors

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati's five neighborhood high schools will offer new education options that are part of the district's plan to redesign the struggling schools.

        The Board of Education Monday approved creation of smaller schools of 600 students each inside the large buildings of Aiken, Taft, Western Hills, Withrow and Woodward.

        There could be more than one school inside each of those buildings.

        While the vote was unanimous, three board members expressed concern over plans to make Woodward High a vocational school.

        Catherine Ingram, Florence Newell and Harriet Russell said plans to redirect Woodward's incoming ninth-graders to other schools concern them. This would be done to allow renovation of the building.

        Ms. Newell also said she wants to be sure that the Woodward community has options outside the vocational school.

        Lynn Marmer, board vice president, spoke with Superintendent Steven Adamowski and board President Rick Williams after the meeting about continuing talks on the plan's finer details.

        “A lot of the concerns are details that haven't been worked out yet,” Mr. Williams said.

        As the district and individual schools develop the shape they will take, these items will be addressed.

        Specialized school options for juniors and seniors will include information technology, a virtual (online) school, a vocational school, a military academy and traditional college prep programs.

        Freshmen and sophomores will attend “preparatory academies” focusing on the basics needed to pass the state proficiency tests. Only then can they move on to the specialized programs for upperclassmen.


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