ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – On Thursday night, alumni of a St. Louis magnet school made their final plea to keep their institution from shutting its doors.
St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams set Thursday as the deadline to gather information before making this decision.
Cleveland NJROTC boasts high academic achievement and graduation rates. However, this junior naval academy is the smallest high school in St. Louis, with just 266 students.
The superintendent says its low enrollment makes it too costly to keep open: “Obviously that raises some concern for us about what’s going to happen long term. The numbers have not necessarily been going up; they’ve been going down or stabilizing, so we need to get more kids into the school.”
That’s why several concerned alumni came up with a plan to raise awareness about Cleveland. Throughout the past few weeks, they’ve been attending town hall meetings, gathering more than 2,000 signatures and going door to door throughout the neighborhood.
Several alums also came up with a plan to increase enrollment, which they presented in a closed session to school administrators.
The multifaceted plan includes increasing parental support, raising funds to buy larger signs for the school, adding naval recruiters, and possibly combining the academy with a bio-medical school instead of keeping it in its current building.
Adams says he’ll weigh all of these suggestions when making his decision: “I think they have galvanized really well, and have articulated how they feel about it, and that’s positive.”
The superintendent will present his decision on closing Cleveland at Wednesday’s school board meeting. The board will then vote on whether to approve his recommendation.