Strategies Build Upon District’s Workforce Readiness Initiative, Expand Programming for Neighborhood Schools
Cincinnati Public Schools has announced a new comprehensive improvement plan, Vision 2020: My Tomorrow, designed to bring greater equity, access and opportunity for all students to attend great schools.
The plan, outlined by Superintendent Mary Ronan and members of her administrative team at the February 8, 2016, Cincinnati Board of Education meeting, builds upon CPS’ groundbreaking My Tomorrow initiative to prepare students with the real-world knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the workforce.
At the same time, Ronan said, the plan outlines new improvement strategies, including a three-year expansion adding new programming to the district’s neighborhood schools.
“It’s important to strengthen our neighborhood schools as a matter of equity,” Ronan said. “There currently is high demand for many CPS elementary magnet schools and our specialized high schools, such as Walnut Hills and the School for Creative and Performing Arts. We also want to make our neighborhood schools popular choices for families by adding special focuses that fit well with their communities’ interests and priorities.”
Proposed elementary neighborhood school program focuses include: arts and culture, environmental science, student enterprise, high-technology, gifted, gender-based, dual language and Montessori. At the high school level, the district will explore interest in Junior ROTC programs. Ronan said specific schools will not be named until the district engages with school staffs and community partners to confirm their interest in the programming. Other innovative school options also may emerge as a result of conversations with community members, she added.
Ronan noted that strengthening the district’s neighborhood schools emerged as the top ranking for improvement strategies in the CPS Priorities Survey conducted last fall. The survey also revealed high levels of support for the My Tomorrow real-world readiness initiative as well as for meeting the needs of the “whole child” in addition to academic preparation.