Cleveland Metropolitan School District seeks public engagement in new data driven facility planning process
(Plain Press, April 2019) Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be hosting a series of public meetings in April in hopes of getting public input on the latest revision of its Master Facilities Plan. At the March 19thCleveland Board of Education Meeting, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Chief Operating Officer Patrick Zohn and the district’s Chief Portfolio Officer Christine Fowler-Mack jointly presented a plan to gain public input on how to address building or rehabbing future school buildings with an eye toward aligning academic needs to the facility plans.
As part of the effort to include the public in the decision-making process, the CMSD is making a Citywide Analysis data base publicly accessible. According to Zohn and Fowler-Mack, the Citywide Analysis data base will include data on district, charter and some private schools. Data will be available on the local school building levels, the regional level or the district level. CMSD says the data base will include five-year enrollment forecasts. The hope is that the data base will help the public to look at enrollment choices, academic quality, program viability, building use and condition while plans are made on what schools will be included in future building plans.
The six regions outlined in the plan include three on the East Side of Cleveland and three on the West Side of Cleveland. The three regions on the West Side are West, Near West and Southwest. The West region includes the following neighborhood statistical planning areas: Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre, Stockyards and Old Brooklyn. The Near West region includes Tremont, Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Cudell-Edgewater and West Boulevard. The Southwest Region includes Jefferson, Bellaire Puritas, Kamms and Hopkins.
Residents wishing to look at the data base online can visit the CMSD website at: QualitySchoolsforCLEkids.org. The site contains an interactive map, Citywide Analysis, and an opportunity to provide feedback. The site also includes listings of the public meetings in April. (For information on dates, times and locations of meetings, see Page 12 and the Plain Press Community Board on page 2.)
A number of schools in the Plain Pressservice area were slated for new facilities or renovation under the current Master Facilities Plan that would be revised during this planning process. The schools that will be reviewed under this process include Marion C. Seltzer, Joseph Gallagher, Tremont Montessori, Clark and Denison elementary schools and Lincoln West High School.
In response to a question by Board of Education member Shaletha Mitchel about what has been learned from the data so far, CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon said, “In the public and charter K-8 schools, there are far more seats than students.” He said that with this data available, the school district now knows how many excess seats are in each region.
Gordon said the data can also help with building high schools to the size appropriate for the projected student population. Gordon noted that the district does not yet know the impact the Say Yes to Education Program will have on enrollment. He said regular updates of the Citywide Analysis will help planners and the public see enrollment changes.
Gordon said the Citywide Analysis will help with the long-term maintenance and refreshment of facilities. He said the district now has “much more crisp data and data we can share publicly.”