Cleveland ISD creating 9th grade campus at old Northside Elementary

Northside Elementary in Cleveland will become a ninth-grade campus next fall. Elementary students are being moved to the new Northside Elementary campus on FM 2025.

With the new Northside Elementary campus on FM 2025 set to open and welcome students in August, Cleveland ISD’s board of trustees now plan to repurpose the existing Northside Elementary campus on N. Blair St. for ninth-grade students.

Based on enrollment trends, Cleveland High School will grow to 3,400 students next fall, giving the District had two options – add more portable buildings to an already-crowded high school site or use the old Northside Elementary as a ninth-grade campus.

Superintendent Stephen McCanless said the Board went with the most fiscally-responsible decision – using the old Northside Campus.

“We were looking at both options. We could buy two more eight-classroom portable buildings and a portable cafeteria unit and put all of that behind the current high school, but that would mean using up about 40 percent of our practice field for athletics and it would have cost $1.8 million for the buildings and the hook-ups. The problem with that plan is that we would still have had 3,400 students on the property and managing their safety,” McCanless said.

Before bringing the ninth-grade campus option to the board, McCanless and staff looked at all of the modifications needed for the old Northside Elementary to accommodate high school students. What they found is that only one bathroom will need modifications, he said.

“The cost for using the old Northside campus will cost us $1 million, which includes about $400,000 in technology upgrades, something that would not have been included in the portable building option,” he said.

McCanless also met with Athletics Director Jason Fiaco and Band Director Kristy Jones regarding how the separate ninth-grade campus will impact their departments.

“We got it all figured out. We will have a shuttle bus to move students and adjust our bell schedule as needed. We are planning to offer all of the Career and Technology (CTE) courses at both campuses, so that is not going to be an issue,” he said.

The old Northside campus will give the District a three-year cushion for growth as it can accommodate up to 1,400 ninth-grade students. The new campus will have an associate principal who will work under High School Principal Kristy Dietrich.

Once all the ninth-grade students are moved to the old Northside campus, which is being called Cleveland ISD Ninth-Grade Campus, the existing high school campus is projected to start the 2022-2023 school year with around 2,300 students, comparable to 2019 enrollment numbers.

Because the ninth-grade campus will be a big change to the neighborhood, the District is holding a Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Calvary Baptist Church. Homeowners for the following streets and avenues are encouraged to attend:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
  • Samuel Wiley Dr.
  • Charles St.
  • Gum St.
  • Elk St.
  • Elm St.
  • Fair St.
  • N. Mason Ave.
  • Magruder Ave.
  • N. Blair Ave.
  • Pate St.
  • Smith St.
  • Anglin St.
  • Hunt St.
  • Short St.
  • Sherwood St.
  • Bardash St.
  • 1st St.
  • N. Travis Ave.
  • McKellar Ave.
  • Mill St.
  • Pine St.
  • Orange St.
  • Margie St.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I bet most of the hard working tax paying citizens of Cleveland ISD are ABSOLUTELY THRILLED their 9th graders are going to a run down 40 year old campus in the hood.

    • I’m sure they will be thrilled, since they voted down the alternative of a new campus that would have solved the problem without the need of repurposing a “run down 40 year old campus in the hood”.

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