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Two boarded-up Cleveland Public Schools have reopened as high expectation charter schools.

Breakthrough Schools, working with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, has transformed the former Arthur Roth and Woodland Hills schools into part of its network of public charter schools.

“We are just extremely excited to go into a neighborhood, literally and figuratively take the boards off of closed schools and reopen it as a high performing school for kindergarten through 8th, and be a rock in this community,” said Chris O’Brien, Head of School at E-Prep Woodland Hills.

He says the new schools will replicate the successful model of the Breakthrough Schools, which has been developed over more than ten years.

“It’s going to look and feel different,” he said. “There’s just a hum about the building. The scholars are constantly working, the teachers are engaging, lively. And when you witness a classroom where one hundred percent of the scholars are working, you see the discipline, you see the structure.”

More than 400 families from Cleveland and from suburbs as far as North Olmsted, Beachwood, and Parma have enrolled their children in the new charter schools for the 2012-2013 year.

“I can’t wait until tomorrow,” beamed Zinzi Gainer, who just signed up her sixth grade son Immanuel. “I can’t wait to drop him off at school, and I can’t wait to hear about his day when it’s over.”

Sith grader Kenny Richey, who entered E-Prep Woodland Hills last week, was already enthusiastic about his classwork, done under rigorous structure and discipline.

“I’m interested in math,” he said softly, standing in front of newly painted lockers and hallways. “It’s my favorite subject because I’ve always been good at math.”

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