Partnership aims to improve communities and schools

Feb 6, 2014

Rothenberg Academy Principal Alesia Smith talks about her vision for ACES.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati Public Schools and the City of Cincinnati are joining forces. A new initiative called ACES -  Alliance for Community and Educational Success - aims to find ways the two can collaborate to improve schools and communities.

Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld says, "Whether it's the health department or the police department or the public services department or our recreation commission, this council believes that the city administration can continue to provide core functions while identifying points of intersection that lift up schools, lift up students, and create greater efficiencies in doing so."

Sittenfeld says ACES will focus on five areas: population growth, workforce development, safe and livable neighborhoods, wellness, and access to technology. He says he'll ask city department heads to suggest ways their offices can partner with the school district.

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

A joint working group plans to meet monthly. Among many goals, they'll look for ways to leverage assets to save money - something school officials think taxpayers want to see, especially at levy time.

Rothenberg Academy Principal Alesia Smith says she's already seeing ways her newly re-opened school and the Over-the-Rhine community are coming together.

"We have the Over-the-Rhine Community Council that meets here every month," says Smith. "We have Pendleton Council that meets here every month. They're going to hold a SAFE rally here for the neighborhood. So the school becomes a center point of how the city will change."

ACES points to partnerships like community health centers in schools and the city-funded school nurses program as other examples of city/school collaborations.