First Cleveland Schools to Receive Core Services Announced

16 CMSD Schools Will Begin Core Services in 2019-20

APRIL 26, 2019 – Say Yes Cleveland has selected the first 16 CMSD schools – 10 (pre)K-8 and six high schools – to participate in the core services rollout for the upcoming school year.

(The list of schools is included at the end of this  article.)

“We were impressed with the commitment and strength of all 29 school teams that applied for this first year,” says Diane Downing, executive director of Say Yes Cleveland. “The selection committee was faced with difficult decisions.”

The core services program, which is supported by the Say Yes Postsecondary Planning System, enables each school to identify student concerns and connect them with the necessary services and support to succeed along the pathway to postsecondary education success. The program includes the hiring of a family support specialist in each school and connection to essential services such as after-school and summer learning, mental health services, and legal services.

All CMSD schools will have the core services program by 2022-23.


The selection committee represented key public and education partners who have been involved with Cleveland’s efforts to become a Say Yes community the past two years. These include: City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Council of Administrators and Supervisors, Cleveland Teachers Union, Cleveland Public Library, and United Way of Greater Cleveland along with Say Yes Cleveland and Say Yes National.

School interest and commitment were a critical step. The selection committee then considered other criteria (enrollment trends, state report card metrics, school and nearby community resources, and student need).

Finally, the committee ensured diverse representation of CMSD’s portfolio of schools to maximize local learning from the rollout in the first year to inform improvements in subsequent years.


Shortly after Cleveland met the pre-launch criteria and was named the fourth Say Yes community chapter in the country in January, CMSD schools were invited to apply to be in the first cohort of the core services rollout.

“The great response to our immediate request for schools to apply is a wonderful indication of how CMSD schools appreciate what Say Yes offers. Because, in part, of that strong commitment by CMSD school teams, we can begin rolling out services in 2019-20,” Downing explains.

Cleveland chose to expedite the launch process to ensure core services are in place at all CMSD schools over the next four years – two years earlier than required by Say Yes to Education. Another 25% of schools will be selected for core services implementation in 2020-21, followed by another 30% in 21-22 and the final 30% in 22-23.

Wraparound Schools

CMSD schools with existing wraparound services will continue to receive services at least until they implement the core services program.

Scholarship Note and Update

The core services rollout does not affect students’ scholarship eligibility. All CMSD or eligible partner charter school students who meet the residency and enrollment requirements can receive a Say Yes Cleveland scholarship after they graduate high school.

As of April 15, 2019, the Say Yes Cleveland scholarship application form had been completed by 2,042 students in CMSD’s graduating class of 2019. Also, 1,200 people have signed up to be mentors in the College Now Greater Cleveland program.

Schools Implementing Core Services in 2019-2020

The schools implementing the Say Yes Postsecondary Planning System in 2019-20 include:


  • Almira
  • Buhrer Dual Language Academy
  • Joseph M. Gallagher
  • Marion-Sterling
  • Mary M. Bethune
  • Memorial
  • Michael R. White
  • Miles Park
  • Orchard
  • Wilbur Wright

High School

  • John Adams College and Career Academy
  • John Marshall School of Civic and Business Leadership
  • Lincoln-West School of Global Studies
  • Max S. Hayes High School
  • New Tech East
  • Rhodes College & Career Academy

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes Cleveland? We invite you to reach out to learn more about how you can get involved.