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Cleveland Alums Battle To Keep High School Open

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Efforts continued Saturday to raise public awareness about the success of St. Louis City's one military high school and to find better ways to recruit new students to the program.

Cleveland Naval Junior ROTC High School once drew 750 students. But since it was forced out of Cleveland High School due to deteriorating building conditions, the Academy has not had a building to really call it's own.

Students and some alums went door to door near the school's current home it shares with the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. They planned to raise awareness about the school and to let families know it is not too late to sign up for the magnet school program coupled with military discipline. Cleveland functions as a school within a school on the grounds of what formerly was called Southwest High School at the corner of South Kingshighway and Arsenal.

Alum Robyn McCaleb is advocating for the program and a building of its own. "We're just not visible enough. In 2009 we had 750 students in the old Cleveland building and since we've been moved twice our enrollment has decreased down to 260 students," she said Saturday.

Senior student Torshawna Griffin joined in the door to door campaign to collect signatures of residents supporting the program.

"Cleveland gave me the discipline I needed to continue to grow as a mature young lady. It gave me the discipline other schools couldn't offer to me," Griffin explained Saturday.

The alumni group is telling families the school remains open for enrollment. The group is also urging the city district to send some alternative school students to the Cleveland program. "We are a school of discipline and that's what a lot of those students need and that's what a lot of parents are looking for but they don't know that we're here," McCaleb pointed out.

More coverage: Parents And Students Fight To Save Cleveland High School

Betsey.bruce@tvstl.com