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KnowledgeWorks Foundation Collaborates With Districts Across Ohio to Open 53 New Small High Schools.

CINCINNATI, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past few days and in the upcoming weeks, 10 school districts across Ohio will be opening new small, autonomous high schools.

As part of the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative (OHSTI) KnowledgeWorks Foundation is working with a total of 20 large, traditional high schools which have transformed into autonomous small schools. Between August 26 and September 7, 2004, a total of 51 autonomous small schools will open in 10 districts across the State.

The Early College High School, another KnowledgeWorks Foundation small school initiative will also open two small high schools this year--one on the campus of Lorain County Community College which partners with Lorain City School District and Elyria City School District; and one on the campus of Youngstown State University in partnership with Youngstown City Schools.

"These schools are part of the most intensive high school conversion effort in the country," said Chad P. Wick, president & CEO, KnowledgeWorks Foundation. "The new small school designs reflect the best research from across the country and are going to be teaching students in a way that brings learning to life and builds strong relationships between the students, teachers, and the community."

"In Ohio and across the country, we are working with communities to create smaller, more personalized high schools, which emphasize the new 3Rs, rigorous academic coursework, supportive relationships to ensure that students can meet high standards and relevant learning opportunities where they can apply their knowledge in real-world settings," said Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested more than $745 million to support the creation of more than 1,900 high schools in 45 states. "Our goal is to improve high school graduation and prepare all students for college, work and citizenship."

Schools opening this year as part of OHSTI include Lima Senior High School, Lima City Schools; East High School and Glenville Academic Complex, Cleveland Municipal School District; Euclid High School, Euclid City Schools; Admiral King High School and Southview High School, Lorain City Schools; McKinley High School, Canton City School District; Cleveland Heights High School, Cleveland Heights - University Heights School District; Scott High School and Libbey High School, Toledo Public School District; Brookhaven High School, Columbus Public Schools; Shaw High School, East Cleveland City Schools; Rayen High School, Chaney High School, and Wilson High School; Youngstown City School District.

In the fall of 2005 KnowledgeWorks Foundation anticipates the opening of 24 additional small schools for OHSTI and five for Early College. (This will include a total of 16 small schools in the 5 remaining large campuses and 8 additional schools on two campuses that began the conversion process in 2004).

As part of the ongoing support from KnowledgeWorks Foundation, we will be providing Distributed Leadership coaches to all of the small schools and Teaching & Learning coaches to the small schools opening their doors this fall, in addition to other technical assistance such as labor-management relations, central office redesign assistance, the Leadership Institute, the Small School Leaders Network, literacy development, student leadership, and other skill-building workshops.

Small schools demonstrate better student results by providing a structure that improves teaching and learning. Key strategies include collaboration, personalization, and instruction targeted to meet individual student needs.

"Merely changing the size of a school will not lead to improved teaching and learning," said Chad P. Wick, president & CEO, KnowledgeWorks Foundation. "The grant criteria require districts to incorporate a small school design with high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, high expectations for all students and an involved, supportive community."

The Ohio High School Transformation Initiative and the state of Ohio lead the nation in the move to convert existing large, urban high schools to small, personalized high schools with 10 large city districts transforming 20 high schools into 75 autonomous small schools over the next two years.

Early College high schools are a collaborative effort between a public school district and an accredited higher education partner. The new schools will be characterized by location in low-income communities, small size, and ability to engage students in college-level work for credit in order to earn an associate degree by senior year of high school.

KnowledgeWorks Foundation is Ohio's largest public education philanthropy. KnowledgeWorks Foundation provides funding and leadership for education initiatives throughout the state and is focused on creating and improving educational opportunities. The Foundation is committed to sharing knowledge gained and lessons learned with others in Ohio and across the nation to help inform public policy. Learn more about KnowledgeWorks Foundation at http://www.kwfdn.org/ .

CONTACT: Emily Hedrick, +1-513-929-1132, or +1-513-265-5709, or Chris Hedges, +1-513-929-1136, or +1-513-659-0373, both of KnowledgeWorks Foundation

Web site: http://www.kwfdn.org/
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Date:Aug 26, 2004
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