Not Your Traditional High School
MC2 STEM is part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, one of the most economically challenged school districts in the country, where the average high school graduation rate was just 60 percent in 2011. The school was created through a public-private partnership among a number of organizations, with the intention of providing students with an integrated curriculum that is informed by real-world experiences.
The school serves about 300 students, all of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Students attend classes at campuses embedded in business and school sites around the city -- the Great Lakes Science Center, General Electric (GE) Lighting's Nela Park campus, the Health Careers Center (a Cleveland Metropolitan School District building), and various college campuses. At any given time, you may see freshmen and sophomores immersed in workshops with tutors from NASA or in rigorous projects (PDF) and mentorship programs with engineers from GE Lighting, or juniors and seniors stepping up to demanding internships (PDF) at a variety of local businesses.
While STEM is the school's emphasis, teachers cover all subjects required by Ohio's state standards through integrated, transdisciplinary project-based learning. The grading system (PDF) is based onmastery, meaning that every student in grades nine and ten must achieve at least 90 percent on benchmark assessments in order to receive credit. There are no enrollment criteria; students are admitted by lottery and they come from every corner of Cleveland.