Tonight the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education made the first step toward establishing Lighthouse Community School (LCS) as a CPS school starting in the 2020-21 school year. The Board voted to enter into a Letter of Intent; LCS's board will vote on the Letter of Intent at its next meeting on June 17.
"Cincinnati Public Schools is the best performing and fastest growing large school district in the State, and this expanded opportunity with Lighthouse Community School will provide additional options and opportunities for our students," said CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell.
LCS is located at 6100 Desmond Street in the Madisonville community. LCS has 15 employees, and its student enrollment during the 2018-19 school year was 55 students, all of whom reside in the CPS district. LCS has operated as a community school or public charter school since it opened in 2001. CPS has supported Lighthouse as its community school sponsor from 2001 to 2018, when ODE became Lighthouse's sponsor.
"Utilizing highly individualized and flexible strategies, Lighthouse Community School offers students who have previously had difficulties in school with the opportunity to succeed," said Paul Haffner, president and CEO, Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. "It's an environment encouraging young people to reach their goals and promoting the development of responsible community members. Becoming a CPS school means a continued commitment to preparing our students for life as well as new and diverse opportunities for them to grow."
Lighthouse works to empower young people and families through a continuum of care that promotes healing and growth. Serving ages 0-24, the nonprofit agency provides emergency shelter, early childhood intervention, education and life skills training, foster care and adoption, youth housing, residential treatment, community juvenile justice services and mental health services.
"We are excited to be adding Lighthouse to the varied offerings within CPS because we know that students and parents want options," said Carolyn Jones, CPS Board of Education president. "It’s important to the Board that we sustain the innovative collaborations, including existing partnerships with GE and the Mindpeace mental health collaborative, to support students in this school community."
Under the agreement, all LCS teachers and staff will have priority hiring consideration at CPS.
The proposed agreement will not include properties meant for use by the broader Madisonville community, including the community gardens and the urban agricultural learning center. CPS will work with St. Anthony Church to allow the parish to continue to use the school for their events, under the CPS facilities use policy and permit process.