CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Summer is over for kids in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and it's time for students to return to class.
Monday, Aug. 14 marks the first day of school for children in Cleveland's school district, which is the second largest school district in Ohio.
"I'm super excited to have the kids back, and continue the work we've been building for the last several years," said Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Graduation rates have increased in recent years. During the 2009/2010 school year just over 50 percent of high school students were graduating. Gordon said currently the graduation rate is 69.1 percent.
"The improvements in our graduation rates are (due to) a number of factors," Gordon said. "One is we opened a number of new school models. We have to have choices that families will choose. So it really is much more of a market driven strategy. We look at what is the kinds of things that kids will be excited about that will inform their education? Then we build the education around that."
There are approximately 40,000 children enrolled in Cleveland schools. About 65 percent of the students enrolled are African-American. According to the school district, 15.6 percent of students are Hispanic and 15.4 percent are white. In 2015, 69.1 percent of senior students graduated, which is up more than 23 percent since the class of 2011.
Approximately 8,449 students rely on the school bus for transportation. The CMSD Bus Tracker now allows students and their parents or guardians to track their bus location in case the bus schedule changes or it is running behind. Click here for more information about the CMSD Bus Tracker.
Other headlines entering the 2017-18 school year include efforts to become the nation's fourth chapter of Say Yes to Education, a program that helps students with college funding and community service. Students in CMSD high schools will also have more access to computer science and Advanced Placements classes.
Looking ahead, construction is underway on seven new elementary schools. The schools are expected to be completed in 2018.