published Monday, August 6th, 2012

Educators prepare for start of school

Cleveland schools start times

Cleveland High and Cleveland Middle

Doors open: 7:15 a.m.

Instructional time: 7:50 a.m.-2:50 p.m.

Elementary schools

Doors open: 7:40 a.m.

Instructional time: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Teen Learning Center

Doors open: 7:40 a.m.

Instructional time: 7:50 a.m.-2:50 p.m.

Source: Cleveland City Schools

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — For the first time in several years, Cleveland and Bradley County schools will begin a new academic year with no major construction projects.

But students, teachers and parents have some adjustments to make anyway.

City and county teachers have been attending training sessions, preparing for the first full day of classes next week — Tuesday for county schools and an abbreviated day Wednesday for city schools.

The 2012-13 year "will be the first graduating class under the new Tennessee Diploma project," county schools Director Johnny McDaniel told teachers.

The project created more rigorous academic standards and brought graduation requirements to match workplace and college-level skills.

"Probably the most profound change in elementary and secondary education is our change to the Common Core [curriculum]," Nat Akiona, North Lee Elementary School principal, told county teachers during their in-service training.

The Tennessee Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in math and language arts in 2010. As part of Tennessee's First to the Top project, those standards are also aimed at making students college- or job-ready.

In recent years, city school students went back to class while construction continued on Cleveland High School's new science wing. Bradley Central High School students worked around the construction of a fine arts building that opened at the beginning of last school year.

This school year, workers are finishing a renovation of Cleveland High's Betsy Vines Theater. In the county system, work just finished to remake portions of Michigan Avenue Elementary that were damaged in the April 2011 tornadoes.

Both school systems are bracing for more students for the new school year than they had when the old year ended in June, the directors said.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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