Small School Concept

Cleveland-Nine Cleveland Metropolitan School District high schools are among 42 urban schools in Ohio receiving grant money to create smaller learning environments within their buildings.

The Cleveland schools will receive a $680,970 grant through the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative, comprised of KnowledgeWorks, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ford Foundation, local school districts and their community partners.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says, “We are excited by the opportunity to improve our existing schools and create more new, small schools.  These funds will help ensure the success of our efforts to incorporate small school design and high quality instruction into our high school program.”


“Small learning communities” are developed to reduce alienation of students and increase personalization. The successful implementation of small learning communities at James Ford Rhodes, Glenville and South High under federal funding helped secure this latest grant.

Small learning communities help break down the impersonal environment found in many large high schools.  Examples of Cleveland’s small learning communities include The Freshman Academy, a structured, team approach to teaching and learning, designed to make sure no student ‘falls through the cracks.’ The Re-entry Accelerated Program (RAP) is a second chance program for repeating ninth graders that accelerates them to their correct grade level. A third small learning community component is Twilight School, a small structured learning environment that serves students after regular school hours.


District high schools to benefit from this grant include Collinwood, East High, East Tech, Glenville, John F. Kennedy, Lincoln-West, John Marshall, James Ford Rhodes and South High.

The award to CMSD was the largest in the state.

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