Although the school year has already started for most Cleveland Metropolitan School District students others are kicking things off a few days later.

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CLEVELAND -- Although the school year has already started for most Cleveland Metropolitan School District students, others are kicking things off a few days later.

Michael R. White STEM School is one of several schools starting Monday instead of last week. It's one of the district's poorer performing schools so teachers get more days for professional development prior to the start of the school year.

"We know we have to teach the subject, the students have to make meaning of the concepts and then they have to transfer that knowledge into real world situations," explains Jan Jaeckin, an intervention specialist with Michael R. White Stem.

This year, the school has a new principal. Ariel Hayes came from another area school district to work for CMSD. Hayes says she wanted to give back to students similar to herself.

"I grew up in a single-parent household," Hayes says. "We were not always living in our own home so I understand the aspect of homelessness to a degree," she says. "The teachers that I had throughout the experience at CMSD, but especially at Collinwood High School, prepared me for those life skills and helped me know I was ready to go to college and I could do something with myself."

As a Phase II Investment School, the staff have more control over how the school operates but they're also held accountable for the results.

"That is what drives me knowing that someone's watching that people are going to be very concerned about what' we're doing," explains Hayes. "That's that motivation to make sure we're hitting the mark and we need to show gains because all kids can learn."

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