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City schools map out changes

District reconfiguration has kids changing schools

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown City School District’s P. Ross Berry building, McGuffey Elementary and the former Williamson Elementary School will become the district’s new middle school buildings under a reorganization plan.

The reconfiguration will shift the district to six pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade schools, two sixth- through eighth-grade middle schools, an early college middle school, an alternative school, two traditional high schools, an early college high school and a career and technical center.

A new virtual school will be created for first- through 12th-grade students.

Families can learn which district schools their students will attend under this reconfiguration plan by visiting the district’s website, ycsd.org. A map of the new school boundaries is available.

Parents may go to the “For Parents” tab and then down to “Enrollment / Registration.” From there, “School Attendance Boundaries” is found on the left side of that page.

PARENTS’ REQUEST

School district CEO Justin Jennings has said the return to a middle school format is happening, in part, in response to requests from parents. They have been concerned about the middle school and younger students going to the same building as some seniors.

Having middle schools will enable the younger students to adjust to the higher-level education models that will be introduced.

• P. Ross Berry, 940 Bryn Mawr Ave., will become the new East Middle School at the P. Ross Berry Campus for grades 5-8. Originally built as a middle school, it has been used for the last several years as the home of Mahoning County High School.

• William Holmes McGuffey Elementary, 310 S. Schenley Ave., becomes the new Chaney Middle School at the McGuffey Campus for grades 5-8, on the city’s West Side.

Each middle school will feed into the high school for which it is named.

• The current Williamson Elementary, 58 Williamson Ave., will become a specialized Rayen Early College Middle School.

HIGH SCHOOLS

In the next academic year, the district’s high schools will be East, 474 Bennington Ave.; Chaney, 731 S. Hazelwood Ave.; and Youngstown Rayen Early College, 20 W. Wood St.

Eleventh- and 12th-grade students wanting to attend a technical school will be able to go to Choffin Career and Technical Center, 200 E. Wood St.

Despite the reconfiguration, high school students who were in ninth through 11th grades this past school year at East or Chaney will be able to remain at those schools — if they choose.

“We’ll also allow families who already have a scholar at one high school to send their younger scholars to that high school as well,” Jennings said. “We know families want their children to stay together and we’ll honor that.”

PRE-K TO FIFTH

The reconfiguration will shift the district to six pre-kindergarten-to-fifth-grade schools. They are Paul C. Bunn, 1825 Sequoya Drive; Harding, 1903 Cordova Ave.; Martin Luther King, 2724 Mariner Ave.; Kirkmere, 2851 Kirk Road; Taft, 730 E. Avondale; and Volney Rogers, 2400 S. Schenley Ave.

Harding, Martin Luther King and Taft will feed into East Middle School; and Volney, Kirkmere and Bunn will feed into Chaney Middle School.

Wilson Elementary School will become Wilson Alternative School. Mahoning County High School has the option of moving into that building as well.

VIRTUAL ACADEMY

As for the new virtual school: “The pandemic showed us that some scholars thrive while learning virtually,” Jennings said. “Some scholars excel while being in a traditional classroom setting, but for others, learning remotely is a better fit.”

The academy will be housed inside Choffin Career and Technical Center but will operate as a separate school.

Roshay Huff, who served as principal of Kirkmere Elementary School for the 2020-21 school year, will be the principal of YCSD Virtual Academy.

“Being a principal during a pandemic and supporting a remote-learning environment for many scholars and families has prepared the staff and I for this new opportunity,” Huff said. “YCSD Virtual Academy will be an option for families and scholars who are self-motivated and desire to learn in a remote setting. Scholars will receive support from certified teachers to encourage their success.”

Students will be required to come to the school regularly for social-emotional check-ins, but learning will be remote.

A survey posted to the district website, ycsd.org, will allow parents to express interest in having their child attend the school next year.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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