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CMSD’s True2U Mentors help 8th-graders sort through high school options

CMSD’s eighth-graders face a critical choice of where to attend high school next year, but fortunately they have mentors to help them sort through the many options.

On Dec. 13, 2018, volunteer True2U mentors spent two hours helping eighth-graders in schools across the District consider CMSD’s various models. When the mentors return in January of 2019, students will continue to identify select choices that fit their interests.

Students at Mound School in the Slavic Village neighborhood paired with Matt Vana, manager of accounts payable for Medical Mutual, and Kathy Capretta, customer insights analyst for the health insurer. Classmates happily kept busy playing a board game relevant to the discussions: Life.

Many of the students had focused on school sports programs as a major factor in their selections, Vana said. He urged them to think of sports as more of an extra.

Vana said the one-on-ones gave some typically quiet students a chance to open up. He said the exchanges, with students quiet or otherwise, were revealing.

“All of them are engaged; they do have an idea of the avenues they want to go into,” said Vana, adding that he had heard talk of engineering, finance, marketing, arts and communication. “They are putting forth the effort to start thinking about career paths.”

In previous months, students assessed their strengths. A boy named Kenyon said his reflection had uncovered career possibilities ranging from accountant to school counselor to judge.

“I don’t know yet what I’m going to be,” said Kenyon, who is interested in attending Cleveland Early College High School at the John Hay Campus. “But I’m going to do what I’m good at.”

Nick has his eye on Rhodes School of Environmental Studies, because of the thematic focus, and one of CMSD’s two Bard High School Early Colleges, because he could simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate of arts degree—tuition free—from Bard College of New York.

Like Nick, Trinity is considering Bard but she also wants to explore Jane Addams Business Careers Center and the Cleveland School of the Arts. She credited her True2U mentors will helping her to winnow the field.

“At first, I didn’t know what high school I wanted to go to,” she said. “They showed me schools that were in my categories.”

As a portfolio district, CMSD has created a variety of high school models so students can find the ones that will help them reach their goals. Students can attend any high school they wish if space is available and, in a few cases, they meet admissions requirements.

Students and families can register online at choosecmsd.org. The portal is open until March 22 but signing up early improves a student’s chances of getting his or her first choice.

All of the more than 30 District high schools will have a chance to the market their programs from Jan. 23-25, when eighth-graders take turns making daytime visits to the East Professional Center, 1349 E. 79th St.

Families can browse the school options from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at East Professional Center and from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Max S. Hayes High School, 2211 W. 65th St.

True2U, launched in 2016, is a partnership between CMSD, MyCom, the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and the Greater Cleveland Faith-Based Initiative. For more information, go to true2umentor.org.


Copyright © 1989 to 2019 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01/02/19 19:43:02 -0800.




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