Ohio

Eye on Education

Gund Foundation Grants Funding For Two New Specialty Cleveland High Schools

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STOCKMONKEYS.COM / FLICKR

Two new Cleveland schools aimed at giving ninth through twelfth graders college credit and immersion in arts education are receiving a funding boost from the Gund Foundation.

At its meeting last week, the philanthropy group approved $649,000 worth of grants for Cleveland’s Bard Early College High School and its Digital Arts High School.

Program officer Ann Mullin says the grants are the latest of the foundation’s efforts to support the Cleveland Plan–the district’s broad strategy to build specialty schools and improve academic performance.

Since 2006, Mullin says Gund–along with the Cleveland Foundation–have helped CMSD open 14 new district and charter schools.

“When we look at our most successful schools, they are the schools that have strong institutional backing to them,” Mullin says.

The foundation hopes these two new schools will continue that trend..

Bard Early College High School is a partnership with Bard College in New York and will allow students to take rigorous, college level courses in their high school classrooms.  Students will have the chance to complete an associates degree while earning their diploma.  Slated to open in fall 2014, the school will serve ninth and eleventh graders its first year and eventually serve tenth and twelfth graders too.

The Digital Arts High School will use film, gaming, and music as tools to teach and evaluate students in the core subjects of math and language arts.   The school will operate in concert with the Center for Arts Inspired Learning and give students internship opportunities with professionals working in digital fields.  It’s also scheduled for a fall 2014 opening.

Gund has also provided funding for two other CMSD schools  that will open this fall at John F. Kennedy High School.

After these schools are fully up and running, Mullin says the foundation will continue to support the district’s efforts to offer what it calls a portfolio of school options.

Over the last seven years, Mullin says Gund has invested roughly $18 million toward that effort.

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