Selected readings on US charter schools
The school board voted to sponsor, or authorize, the Lakeshore Intergenerational School, which would open in the Collinwood neighborhood in the fall.
The board also approved a preliminary agreement to sponsor the new Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA), which would start in the fall of 2015 after another year of planning.
The Lakeshore Intergenerational School, proposed by the Breakthrough charter school partnership, will be the third charter school in the city to use theintergenerational model that has senior citizens in the school to work with students. It’s already used at the Intergenerational School near Shaker Square and the Near West Intergenerational School in Ohio City.
The school will start with kindergarten through second grade and expand over the next several years up to eighth grade, with an eventual enrollment goal of around 230.
Breakthrough, which also runs schools using the E Prep, Village Prep and Citizens Academy models, is a regular partner with the school district. Its schools share part of the 15-mill school tax increase that voters passed in 2012.
The school will be located in the former St. Casimir Parish school on Neff Rd. near Cleveland’s eastern border with Euclid.
A press release from Breakthrough credited the Northeast Shores Development Corp. and the 100 residents who signed a petition asking for the school with making the school happen.
“For years our residents have had to go outside of our neighborhood for a good school option or move out of Cleveland all together,” Northeast Shores Executive Director Brian Friedman said in that release. “Bringing a high-quality school to Collinwood is critical to our neighborhood’s long-term sustainability.”
The Global Ambassadors Leadership Academy would be a brand new school in the city that would run two separate language immersion programs for English speakers – one to learn Mandarin and one to learn Spanish.
Founder Meran Rogers, who previously ran the City Year programs at Franklin D. Roosevelt elementary school and the Thomas Jefferson ninth grade academy, was at the board meeting for the vote and was happy with the result.
She said she has recently updated the school’s web page and will have more details there as plans for the school progress.
Earlier this month, Rogers told The Plain Dealer that the program would be unique to the area.
While the Cleveland school district’s Buhrer dual-language program has English speakers learning Spanish, and Spanish speakers learning English, her school will teach the two languages just to English speakers.
She said teachers would aim to use half English and half of either Spanish or Mandarin, while teaching all subjects. Students will learn their chosen language while also learning the standard material for that grade.
“Students are going to be in math classes listening to teachers teach math in Mandarin or Spanish,” Rogers said.
Rogers, who spent a year teaching in Taiwan while a student at Case Western Reserve University, said that experience made her want to start a language school here. She hopes to start with 80 students – 40 learning each language – with just kindergarten in the school’s first year.
Rogers said she does not have a location yet, but Gordon told the school, board earlier this month that the 3800 block of Bridge Avenue is likely. Rogers said she has a board to run the school, but is still seeking financial help to open it.
Gordon said he proposed the preliminary agreement because Rogers has a strong concept that still needs a better academic plan and financial strategy – things the district can help her develop.
Source: Cleveland.com – by Patrick O’Donnell