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CCS Task Force Revises School Reorganization Ideas

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Task force recommendations to overhaul Columbus City Schools by consolidating some schools, closing some, and selling off excess property are continuing to evolve, ahead of a vote by the school board next month.

If approved, the changes would take place for the 2020-2021 school year. Alison Holm has more.  

After seven public forums and feedback from staff, parents and the public, the Columbus City Schools Facilities Task Force is revising their suggestions on how to best utilize school buildings, including reconfiguring some schools. The task force is dropping a recommendation to convert Marion-Franklin High School on the south side to a 6th through 8th grade middle school, and a similar proposal for Linden-McKinley STEM Academy on the east side.

 

The task force has several new suggestions to consider, that place more emphasis on “co-location”, creating separate schools within the same building. Under this plan, Linden-McKinley which is currently a 7th through 12th grade high school, would remain open, but would split into a 9th through 12th grade high school and a 6th through 8th grade middle school, each with their own principal and staff. Buckeye Middle School which was recommended for closure in the original task force proposal, would send its 6th through 8th grade students to the new Linden-McKinley middle school.

 

Another revision would keep Marion-Franklin open as a high school, and divide South High School into a 6th through 8th grade middle school and a 9th through 12th grade high school.

 

The task force is still recommending closing Siebert Elementary, a proposal the board has considered for several years. While district officials have pointed out that few of the students live in the neighborhood, parents and staff have protested, pointed out that the full capacity is proof of the schools success. The task force maintains recommendations to relocate a warehouse, a bus compound, an adult education center and several other non-school sites, possibly shifting those services to the former ECOT building on the south side that the district bought at auction this summer. And it calls for further study on selling off some properties, including the district headquarters on East State Street downtown.

 

The task force is scheduled to vote on final recommendations Monday, October 22nd, and the board expects to vote on them in November. 

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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