CANS Plants a Tree

CANS Plants a Tree

In a meaningful conclusion to Earth Week, the Cincinnati Park Board invited CANS students to take part in a ceremonial tree planting in one of our beautiful local parks – Mt. Storm.    With little shovels in hand and rain boots on feet, our kids helped put a new little redbud into the ground.

Clifton Area Neighborhood School serves 50+ children

As a parent of two young boys, I’m excited they’ll be attending CANS this year.  I’ve always dreamed of my children going to a local public school where they could connect with nearby families and friends from diverse backgrounds.  This personifies Clifton to me, a place where diversity and community are truly interwoven. I’ve met so many amazing Clifton area parents through the school and look forward to connecting to many more through the CANS PTO.  I’ve also met many Clifton residents that want to make certain that we have good schools, retain our residents, and are good stewards of strong values. That is my primary aim as a member of this new community group. To get involved please contact

You will soon see early signs of transformation at the old Clifton School building, CANS permanent location at 3711 Clifton Ave, becoming a place where our children can learn and play together. The school will serve up to 2 classes per grade (PreK-6), with the model of “learning through doing.”  We will be leaning on an important partnership with UC School of Education, who has been very helpful in providing extra resources and information. We are excited to be moving next door to Fairview Clifton German Language School in Fall 2019 and anticipate productive interactions among the families that attend our schools, sharing resources, facilities and events that welcome young families and wider community.

Beginning in August 2017 with two small classes at Rising Stars Academy, CANS now serves 57 children in Pre-K through First Grade.  We anticipate even more rapid growth as we move to our permanent location. Please look to enroll at  CANS families look forward to making their last year at the Rising Stars location another successful one. With our wonderful principal Mrs. Jaren Finney, and our teachers Ms. Wilder, Ms. Cromer and Ms. Fazlani and assistants, we know our kids are in good hands.

Drew Schwetschenau, President CANS PTO

CANS / Clifton Area Neighborhood School serves families in Clifton, Spring Grove Village, Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview

CANS / Clifton Area Neighborhood School serves families in Clifton, Spring Grove Village, Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview, giving our children guaranteed access to quality public education.

CANS classes are open now for Preschool and Kindergarten at our temporary location, Rising Stars Academy at 2120 Vine Street.  Migration to our permanent location in the Clifton School facility at 3711 Clifton Avenue is anticipated in 2019 after renovations.  Preschoolers (3 yrs old by 9/30/18), Kindergarteners (5 yrs old by 9/30/18) and First Graders can enroll now for the 2018-19 school year!  PreK Enrollment must be completed in person at the Early Childhood Education Office at  Rising Stars Academy, 2120 Vine Street. Kindergarten and First Grade enrollment can be fulfilled online or in person.  For help contact Michelle Senger for in-person and online enrollment support: or call (513) 363-6581.  More info at and at

Community Engagement continues for curriculum models and school facility development. CANS hosted a charette with UC DAAP Landscape Architecture students to study concepts for nature playscapes.  They presented concepts to the community on April 14 at CCAC, where 50+ attendees contributed additional ideas for development.  We’ll deliver these to CPS Facilities as they prepare for renovations.

CANS Advisory Group works with CPS top administrators to establish goals for the size of our student body and best uses of the permanent facility.  Statistical studies confirm that CANS families will always represent broad cultural and economic diversity, establishing our school’s core identity and driving our curriculum.

Partnerships are key!  University of Cincinnati DAAP UC art education teachers and students have created a special project with CANS Kindergartners; UC School of Education helps with development of our curriculum; Kindergartners learn Spanish with UC professor Andres Simon-Perez; UC Classics staff supports research of Rawson Farmhouse.  More strong partnerships will develop within CANS’ Community Learning Center, inviting interaction with all residents.

Expeditionary Learning is now our preferred curriculum model.  CPS has three schools using this approach, described as “Learning by Doing.”  Students actively participate in lessons and social/environmental service activities.  ”EL” not only develops solid academic engagement and achievement, but also critical thinking, problem-solving, independence, collaboration and leadership.

The CANS Advisory Group meets regularly during the month.  Click here to check the calendar of upcoming meetings.  Our PTO welcomes parents and CANS neighbors to establish this unique new school.  Questions are always welcome at  

Welcome to Program Manager Kelley Bagayoko

Please welcome Kelley Bagayoko, CPS Program Manager for the Clifton Area Neighborhood School. Ms. Bagayoko has served as Assistant Principal to Kilgour School and was a fellow in Ohio’s BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools.” She graduated from Tulane University and Ohio State University, has a background in law and served as Chief of Staff to Louisiana State Representative Helena Moreno. Before working in education Ms. Bagayoko worked in law and governmental affairs.

CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell appointed Ms. Bagayoko and Assistant Superintendent Susan Bunte to guide establishment of the school. Along with our interim principal Jaren Finney at Rising Stars Academy on Vine, they will advise and support the preparation of the permanent location at former Clifton School building (3711 Clifton Avenue), the hiring of teachers, planning & executing recruitment & enrollment activities, and establishment of community partnerships. Ms. Bagayoko and Ms. Bunte are working in collaborating with the CANS Advisory Group also.  “CPS is strongly committed to the development of this neighborhood school, as we continue to add grades year by year to serve preschool through 6th grades. We’re dedicating resources and staff to grow this new educational entity in partnership with the families and communities it will serve,” said Superintendent Mitchell. “I’m looking forward to working with the families of the Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village communities as we continue to move forward.”

Community Engagement Visioning Report

On October 24, 2017, representatives from CTM, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati Recreation Department and CANS Advisory Group convened a public forum facilitated by Greg Otis, AIA. Over 50 residents shared ideas, building consensus towards re-establishment of school operations at Clifton School.  Key points of recommendations were:

•  The Clifton School should be updated to the latest educational standards and maintained as such.

•  Plan and design for operation of the Clifton School building should complement rather than duplicate total assets on the CPS hilltop campus at McAlpin and Clifton Avenues. CPS is a critical broker in development of relationships among Clifton Recreation Center, Fairview Clifton German Language School, and Clifton Area Neighborhood School for the benefit of the entire community.

• A central means of communication should be created to network all of these geographically-related organizations and facilities.  

• Investigate other successful educational/recreational collaborations, beginning with a visit to Mt. Washington School and Mt. Washington Recreation Center.

•  CPS and the City of Cincinnati should conduct a traffic engineering study and make appropriate changes that will ensure smooth traffic function at all times.  Explore staggered start times of CANS and FCGLS, as well as multiple drop-off and pick-up points to reduce concentration of vehicular traffic.

Read the whole story at

Ice Cream Social

This event could not have happened without a bunch of volunteers who planned and produced this event, CPS Administration for allowing the use of the facility, Cincinnati Neighborhood Games who brought various games to play, and UDF who donated the ice cream.  Below are a collection of photos from the event.  Click on the photos to get them to scroll.

A lot of information was collected from some attendees regarding their feedback on what CPS should do with the Rawson Farmhouse property.  The CANS Advisory Group continues to collect feedback, and will present it all to the public in a community meeting soon this year.

CTM votes in support of CANS

During the August 7, 2017, Clifton Town Meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the following statement including associated actions:

The Clifton Area Neighborhood School is opening August 2017 to receive & educate children from CUF, Spring Grove Village, and Clifton. An associated Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is forming with a mission to foster the relationship between school, home, and community to provide for the academic success of all the students of the school. To that end, the PTO works in partnership with the school's administration, staff and committees and organizes events, programs, and fundraisers in support of that mission.

CTM will act as the fiscal agent for the Clifton Area Neighborhood School PTO to allow it to gain the opportunity to receive charitable contributions for its mission. CTM will cease to act as the fiscal agent once the PTO receives a decision from the IRS on a 501c3 determination.

In support of the school, the children, and the PTO's mission, CTM will commit to spend up to a maximum of $499 to allow the PTO organization to incorporate and file for it's own 501c3 application with the IRS.

CTM supports providing guaranteed access to the children of Clifton, CUF, and Spring Grove Village to the newly opening public neighborhood elementary school that will have an eventual permanent location at 3711 Clifton Avenue. CTM supports all (parents, teachers, community members) who are working to achieve quality education at this new school.

CANS Elementary School Opens!

On July 24, CPS and the Board of Education members approved boundaries for our new neighborhood school – the Clifton Area Neighborhood School (CANS).  Great care was given to make sure that each community served will benefit despite changes made in previous connections to other public school facilities.  The neighborhoods of Clifton, CUF (Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview) and Spring Grove Village are included in their entirety within the new school’s boundaries, insuring a richly diverse student body.

If you live within the boundaries of these three neighborhoods and have a child aged 3, 4 or 5 years old by September 30, 2017, you can enroll them in CANS by completing the applications found at these web addresses.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will be welcomed to our first classrooms prepared for CANS in the Rising Stars Academy on Vine Street at 2120 Vine Street.  This temporary home allows us to start building a student body one grade level per year, following the successful method of Hyde Park School. The growth surge of Cincinnati Public Schools population requires quick response, as 1000 new students enter the system annually, the equivalent of 2 fully populated schools.  CANS students will migrate to the former Clifton School building when all renovations have been completed, anticipated in 2019.

In order to best serve these children and their families, CPS acquired the land and house adjacent to the school’s permanent home. CPS Facilities Department have been cleaning up the Farmhouse property in preparation for development of a playscape and improved egress to the expanded school campus which includes other education and recreation facilities in the heart of Clifton. CANS Advisory Group is learning about Community Learning Centers and researching ways that the Farmhouse might become a nucleus of rich educational and social exchange for residents of all ages.

To improve connectivity of this formerly private and very attractive destination to a wider public, lawns are being maintained and over a dozen dead trees have been removed.  The Metropolitan Sewer District is helping CPS Facilities assess storm water run off, especially at the deep swale between the school building and the Farmhouse, beginning at the sidewalk and reaching to the back of the school building.  Fill-in of this swale could make the property more amenable to development of a playscape. Remediation of problematic storm water runoff - from Clifton Avenue’s road surface that currently floods the pedestrian pathway - is under study.  A request for curbs and drains along the frontage has been made to the city, and careful site preparation will precede any conceptual drawing phase. When the CPS Facilities Design Team is able to create conceptual drawings, the community at large will be invited to provide feedback.

To introduce residents of the CANS neighborhoods with the Farmhouse, CANS and CPS will host Ice Cream Social at Rawson Farmhouse on September 9, 3-5 pm.  The community will have a chance to get acquainted and to visit the Farmhouse. Professor Virginia Russell and her Masters of Landscape Architecture students from DAAP UC will join the event to gather audience input for playscape ideas, honing their community engagement techniques.  

Community input is currently and continually welcomed at our website:    Ideas you provide for the development of the Rawson Farmhouse property shared by texts, sketches and photos will be handed off to the CPS Facilities Design Team.

The CANS Advisory Group meets weekly to work on general and specific tasks, ranging from communications with CPS and our community of enrolled families and our communities at large, to researching interesting programs and quality curriculum components.  We benefit from input by experienced guests who attend our meetings, invited professionals who work within our City’s systems as well as managers of programs in other cities. One example is learning about the International Baccalaureate program established 5 years ago within a public elementary school partnering with the University of Michigan.  With our own proximity to UC, there are many appealing connections being pursued by our Partnerships subcommittee.

The CANS Advisory Group and Subcommittees are always seeking new volunteers to help with planning and implementation of programs.  Please join in the founding of this important new educational asset to our Uptown community. Email us with your contact information and area of interest at

The Basics for Parents and Kids:

  • CPS first day of School: August 16, 2017
  • CANS location in 2017-18: Rising Stars Academy on Vine Street
  • 2120 Vine Street Cincinnati Ohio 45202
  • Mrs. Jaren Finney, Principal.  513-363-6500 email:
  • Hours of CANS classes: 8:45 am – 3:15 pm
  • Before and Afterschool-care program offered by YMCA via application.  Call Dr. Carrie King at 513 508 8217 or email