New neighborhood school opens

On August 16, 2017, a new neighborhood school serving the neighborhoods of CUF, Clifton, and Spring Grove Village will be launching its inaugural classes of preschool and kindergarteners. The school’s temporary name is Clifton Area Neighborhood School (CANS), and it is part of the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) district. Enrollment is ALWAYS accepted for this school at any time. Click here to enroll in kindergarten.

The school is temporarily located at the Rising Stars Academy on Vine Street (also operated by CPS), and it will move to its permanent location at 3711 Clifton Avenue as soon as the Cincinnati Public School district completes renovations on the building. Expected move date is for the school year of 2019-2020, but it could happen during the school year of 2018-2019.

The school is planned to grow at one grade level per year. A pre-school class is also part of the inaugural year. Click here to enroll in pre-school.

CPS announced the new school opening on their district website. Click here to see.

There is a large group of parents, volunteers, and community members that have been working on opening the school and creating high quality education outcomes. They are called the CANS Advisory Group. They have created a website that you can see by clicking here. This website has news and events as well as links for how to enroll your child(ren). You can also read about how to get involved in supporting the school and the children.

A neighborhood school allows for all who live in the neighborhood to enroll their children. This is different than a magnet school for which a lottery is required for entry.

Cincinnati Public Schools – New School serving Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village

At our May 1st Regular Board meeting at approximately 7:50PM administration and school board representatives from Cincinnati Public Schools will adress Clifton Town Meeting about a new neighborhood school including plans for use of the Historic Clifton School(3711 Clifton Ave) and adjacent Rawson Farm property as its future home. We invite all members of the community to come out and hear the information CPS has to share with us. There will be an amount of time for Q&A and opportunities to learn how to be a part of the process in shaping this change to our community.

Clifton Town Meeting has over the last almost 2 years worked on the issue of assured high quality education access for children of Clifton and keeping the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in its current building. Early on these two issues became intertwined due to the fact that Cincinnati Public Schools had suggested a new school as an option for solving the education access concern. Of course it was clear a possible location for this school could be the Historic Clifton School Building where the CCAC currently resides.

CTM worked with the several stakeholders and developed a position statement. Our board of Trustees unanimously passed supporting this statement last year. Two goals in that position were:

  1. Assured access to a high quality public school
  2. The CCAC remain in its current building.

This position was clearly and repeatedly provided to CPS.

Recently CPS announced termination of the lease with CCAC and also moved to purchase the neighboring Rawson Farmhouse property. Our understanding is both will be used for a new neighborhood school serving Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village, or parts thereof.

The lease termination action was taken without knowledge or consent of Clifton Town Meeting and in contrary to our stated position of support of which CPS was well aware.

Now that this situation exists it will begin to have many impacts on our neighborhood, other Clifton education institutions, the immediate surrounding property owners, traffic on Clifton Ave, etc. CTM wants to start today to reach out to our community and begin a process of collecting input for the property use as a school. This input will help us formulate the positions we want to take as community with regard to the future development of the property as a school. Our intent will be to again reach out to CPS and advocate these positions with the purpose of helping make this a successful high quality public school.

Comments from the public at the April CTM Board Meeting on this subject are here.

Agenda for May 12 Public Meeting with CPS

At 9:45pm, May 11, CTM received a copy of the public meeting agenda to be held by CPS Board of Education in conjunction with Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Fairview-Clifton LSDMC, and CTM. All are invited to this meeting at the CPS Administration building on Burnet Woods. Conference Room 1-A. The meeting duration is scheduled for one hour. There is no time on the agenda for public speaking.

A G E N D A

SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
CPS Board of Education & Clifton Cultural Arts Center
May 12, 2016
4:00 PM

Vision: Cincinnati Public Schools will be a community that ensures equitable access to a world-class education, unleashing the potential of every student.

Mission: We educate all students with rigor and care in a culture of excellence to develop engaged citizens who are prepared for life.

A. CALL TO ORDER

1. Pledge to Flag
2. Roll Call

NEW BUSINESS

B. Introductions
C. Vision 2020 – Strengthening Neighborhood Schools – Mary Ronan, Superintendent; Laura Mitchell, Deputy Superintendent
D. Lead agency & CLC definitions – Julie Doppler, CLC Coordinator
(Brainbox at Fairview School site)

E. Proposed outcomes – Ericka Copeland-Dansby, CPS Board President
· Carriage House
· Shared Space Agreement

F. Response to zoning issues – Bill Moehring, Interim Chief Operations Officer
G. Other issues
H. Adjournment

Office of the Board Members

May 12, 2016

Strategic Goals

1. Cultivate a robust and inclusive network of engaged parents, community and other stakeholders that work together to build safe, vibrant schools at the center of safe, vibrant communities (GREAT COMMUNITIES);

2. Support the creation of highly engaging learning environments in which every child, every day, engages in an ideal balance between rigorous learning opportunities relevant to our dynamic world, and at the same time enjoys the focused concern of caring adults (GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS);

3. Provide for expanded learning opportunities and choices for all students that reflect a shared concern for the whole child and demonstrate appreciation for every student as a unique individual (GREAT LEARNING CHOICES);

4. Enable the recruitment, growth, and advancement of distinguished professionals committed to serving diverse students with a high regard for equity, and in a manner characterized by rigor, innovation, and accountability (GREAT PEOPLE); and

5. Ensure that all operations, and resources of every type, are equitably distributed, and singularly and systemically focused on high academic achievement for all students (GREAT SYSTEMS).

CTM Notifies CPS of Flawed Survey

CTM Trustees voted on May 2 to notify CPS of flaws in the survey that CPS sent to Clifton-area families during April. The full letter is detailed below.

May 9, 2016

Ericka Copeland-Dansby, President Cincinnati Board of Education
Mary Ronan, Superintendent Cincinnati Public Schools
Melanie Bates, Vice President CPS BOE
Eve Bolton, Member CPS BOE
Carolyn Jones, Member CPS BOE
Daniel Minera, Member CPS BOE
A. Chris Nelms, Member CPS BOE

Dear President Copeland-Dansby, Superintendent Ronan, and Members of the Board of Education,

I am writing to you on behalf of Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) regarding the recent survey sent to some of our residents by Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). Based on recent comments by Superintendent Ronan we understand the intention is to use these survey results for making decisions related to a neighborhood school for Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village. We believe this survey to be incapable of providing any meaningful information on which to base decisions about a neighborhood school.
Please understand that we do not like having to address this problem after the fact, or in public. We regret that we can find no other recourse to prevent the misuse of the survey data. This could have been avoided had we not been shut out of the process:

• Prior to the distribution of the survey, several of our Trustees conveyed concerns to CPS about its questions
• On March 23, the Superintendent agreed to send us the final version with April 15 the due date for comments
• At our April 4 board meeting, President Copeland-Dansby presented a new version of the survey for our review and comment
• We sent it to several experts who found serious problems and offered to work with your survey people, to which Superintendent Ronan agreed (April 11)
• But on April 13, the Superintendent told us we were too late and that the survey had been sent out – without letting us see this new version, and prior to the due date for comments, and inexplicably contrary to her express agreement not two days earlier.
• Since then, our experts have evaluated this new version and are unanimous in finding it unreliable if not misleading. Their complete reviews and credentials are attached.

Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We campaign for school levies, raise money for schools, volunteer time and resources to enrich students’ experiences, and are passionate about the value of education for all children. Part of that support includes taking responsibility for helping head off problems we see coming. We tried to head off the survey problem: we warned the Administration that the survey was flawed, but it was sent out anyway. Now we are alerting you that if the survey results are used, they will only lead to bad decisions. That is one very important issue, yet there is a bigger one underlying it, and that is the exclusion of CTM from the planning process. We were led to expect that collaboration would be welcome, but I am sad to report that our experience has not borne this out. What do we need to do to achieve this mutual goal?

At this time, there is a unique opportunity to have a process with strong participation from the community. The need to address the overcrowding at Fairview-Clifton German Language School, the desire to save the CCAC, and the need to provide reliable access to excellent education have inspired our community to work together toward the best outcome possible. Clifton has long been a strong supporter of Cincinnati Public Schools and wants to continue this support. We want to be partners with you and bring our passion, creativity, and all our other resources together to create outstanding educational opportunities for all children in Clifton and beyond.

As previously expressed in motions of our Board and communications from our Trustees, we want to collaborate with CPS to develop a process that includes our participation and involvement in the proposals for Clifton. Please let us work with you to develop this process.

Sincerely,

Eric Urbas
President, Clifton Town Meeting

*** Click Evaluation of April 2016 CPS Survey by Research Professionals to read the analysis referenced in the letter. ***