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Bellaire-Puritas, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Education, Photos, Teens

West Side School Fair showcases offerings at area high schools

open house

PHOTO BY RACHEL NAPOLITANO Thursday, March 2; West Side School Fair, John Marshall High School, 3952 W. 140th: John Marshall School of Information Technology Principal Chelsey Cook and eleventh grader Siera Rivera, a student ambassador representing the Software Development Pathway, talk to a student from Menlo Park Academy who is exploring the offerings at John Marshall. Principal Cook said, “We were speaking with this 7th grader about the programming languages he is learning and the level of math he is currently taking. We were highly impressed by his interest and his experiences through his weekly Coding Club at Menlo Park Academy.”

Two hundred people attended a West Side School Fair that showcased fifteen Cleveland high schools to families of sixth, seventh and eighth graders attending public, private and charter schools within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The Cleveland Transformation Alliance and Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation hosted the fair held on March 2nd at John Marshall High School.

While promoting the event, Piet van Lier, executive director of the Transformation Alliance said, “It is a great one-stop-shopping opportunity for Cleveland families and students who are looking for the public high school that best fits their needs. It’s also a chance for educators to learn more about the families and communities they serve.”

Rachel Napolitano, marketing coordinator and engagement specialist at Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation, said that of the fifteen high schools that accepted the invitation to this showcase of west side and downtown high schools, five are in the West Park neighborhood and four are on or near the W. 140th Education Corridor.

Transformation Alliance staff member Steve Lake said that of the 200 people in attendance at the fair, eighty-eight were sixth through eighth grade students. He said the 6th through 8th grade students, attending the West Side School Fair, came from 25 different schools.

Educators served as staff at informational tables, and students and educators took part in a panel discussion and dialogue to answer questions about choosing the right high school.

“We’re excited to host this event for Cleveland families,” said Ian Heisey of Bellaire-Puritas. “We’re looking forward to showcasing the quality high school options available in our city.”

Those attending the event enjoyed a free dinner, tours of the three John Marshall high schools, giveaways and prizes, and music provided by a DJ. The first 50 families to arrive received free Dave’s gift cards.

The event was funded in part by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, with additional support from the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. For more information, visit

Transformation Alliance staff member Steve Lake reported that efforts to market Cleveland high schools are underway in other neighborhoods as well. Lake said tentative plans call for another high school fair to be held in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood in mid-May; in the Northeast Shores Collinwood neighborhood in mid-June and in the Slavic Village neighborhood in July or August. The Transformation Alliance is also working with neighborhood contacts in hopes of being able to showcase high schools at school fairs in the Glenville and Central neighborhoods as well.


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