Cleveland gets foundation backing to trim high school size

CLEVELAND (AP) - Ohio's largest school district received $2 million in foundation grants Wednesday to create smaller high schools.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle and the Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation pledged to cover the cost of splitting up four high schools.
The eventual goal is to break up Cleveland's nine comprehensive high schools, some of which have more than 1,600 students. The target enrollment is 400.
"We are passionate about this next step in our district's reform," said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, chief executive officer of the 73,000-student district.
She said smaller high schools would be more effective and allow more personal student-teacher contact.
Chad P. Wick, president of KnowledgeWorks, said the goal was "to rethink the high school experience in Cleveland."
Under the plan, schools would be divided along curriculum programs, such as health or business education. The various groups most likely would be kept at the same location, possibly divided among floors. Some activities would be done on an all-school basis such as gym classes and sports teams.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)