Shaker Heights Schools News Article

Innovative Center’s First Graduate Is Ready for Success

Innovative Center’s First Graduate Is Ready for Success

Denzel Merritt, SHHS ’15, is the first student to graduate from the High School’s Innovative Center for Personalized Learning and Family Engagement, known as the IC for short. The IC provides high-quality online instruction with the support of blended-learning tutors to help students who have struggled in a traditional setting.

Says Denzel, “At the High School, I was messing up and not going to class. The IC was just a better experience for me. The environment was more like a family. The tutors there really help you to succeed and I enjoyed that.”

At the IC, Denzel was able to complete the necessary coursework to graduate early. He received his transcript this week and immediately enrolled in the Advanced Technology Academy at Cuyahoga Community College. When he completes that program, the Tri-C staff will assist Denzel with job placement. He plans to work as a welder while he attends college.

“Although the path Denzel traveled may have been a little different, I always knew he would complete his goal to graduate," says Denzel's guidance counselor, Cathy Szendrey (shown with Denzel in photo). "He has a bright future in front of him and he will make us proud, I have no doubt.”

Housed in the lower level of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Center, the IC opened its doors in the fall thanks to generous support from the Shaker Schools Foundation, numerous private donors, and the City of Shaker Heights, which provides the space to the District rent-free.

As it grows, the IC will be able to serve Shaker Heights High School students who would like to make room in their schedule for an elective or to take a course not offered at the High School. The IC also houses the Center for Family Engagement, which provides programs and resources for Shaker families with students in grades pre-K through 12.

For more information on the IC, read the article in the latest issue of Shaker Life magazine.

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