Cleveland Metropolitan School District heads back to school today

CLEVELAND -- Put away the swimsuits and pull out the pens and pencils! Thousands of students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District head back to school for the first day.

CEO Eric Gordon will be greeting students as they head back through the doors for the first time.

The Cleveland schools have gone through big changes as they work under The Cleveland Plan. The goal is to ensure every child attends a high-quality school, and that parents have a multitude of schools to choose from. To do that, they are transitioning from traditional, single-source school district to a new system of district and charter schools.

So far under the plan they have expanded quality preschool, increased third grade reading proficiency, increased enrollment, student attendance and graduation rates.

But the schools are far from perfect. The state’s website that grades school districts has given them F's across the board in the last year it has listed, which was 2015-2016.

Gordon touched on that a few weeks ago when he was on Fox 8 News in the morning.

"The district is doing great but have a long way to go and we’re not yet at state standards," Gordon said. " We’d be the first to admit that. But all of indicators continue to improve. Our graduation rate is up again this year and that’s gonna be the sixth year in a row.”

Even though they have work to do Cleveland schools have improved on the nation’s report card. CMSD is one of only three districts in the nation to improve on all four reading and math tests.

Changes are coming this year. Construction is moving ahead on seven elementary schools to be completed in 2018.

Gordon says he's optimistic the district will continue to improve after votes renewed a school levy back in November.

A few Cleveland schools were already back in session, even some started year around school.

Parents and caregivers can now sign up for Bus Tracker, an online portal where they can monitor the travel of yellow buses carrying their children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

**Submit your back-to-school pics, HERE!**