Friday, October 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM
The opening of Ohio's first public boarding school has been delayed a year.
The school had been slated to open in Cincinnati with its first class of 80 sixth graders in fall 2013. Now the grand opening is scheduled for fall 2014. The state Board of Education is set to approve the change to the school's plans at its meeting next week.
The school will be operated by the SEED Foundation, which already runs public boarding schools in Washington and Baltimore, under a contract with the state Board of Education. The state board must approve any changes to that contract.
The SEED school will be located in the Cincinnati area and be open only to “at-risk” students. That means students from low-income families who also meet other criteria such as such as having a record of suspensions or truancy or failing state reading or math tests.
The boarding school's board voted earlier this fall to delay the school's opening because of issues related to the school's construction. The school is leasing a Cincinnati school district property, but needs to build dormitories and other buildings for its students.
The trustees thought it better to delay opening rather than rushing construction during next summer and fall and opening with classes being held in trailers, according to a letter sent to state Board of Education President Debe Terhar:
In short, the Board of Trustees concluded that a 2014 opening provides the School every opportunity to succeed, while a 2013 opening, although possible, requires compromises that increase costs and introduce risks that could undermine the School and its students' success...
A 2014 school opening removes these complications, inefficiencies, and added costs, and also offers the potential to open in a pemianent academic facility, which wil_l provide the School an excellent platform to establish the culture of excellence and care essential to accomplish the important work of preparing its students to achieve at the highest levels in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.