Cleveland Heights–University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 2-3-2015

FEBRUARY 3, 2015

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public comments
  • Field trips
  • Policy updates
  • Wiley building conditions
  • Bus purchases
  • Donation
  • OSBA on testing
  • Salvage of materials
  • PTA input
  • Strategic planning
  • Reaching Heights event

All board members were present.

Awards and recognitions

Superintendent Talisa Dixon recognized students from Boulevard, Canterbury and Gearity elementary schools, Monticello Middle School, and Heights High who were winners in the City of Cleveland Heights’s Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest, the theme of which was: What Are You Doing for Others?

She also recognized the 13 fourth-year resident educators who passed the Resident Educator Summative Assessment. Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools had a 100 percent passage rate compared to the state average of 67 percent.

Public comments

Public forums on education: Teacher Ari Klein spoke on behalf of the Heights Coalition for Public Education, which recently held the second in a series of three public forums. The more than 150 attendees were asked to describe a high-quality education, and no one listed extensive testing. He asked that people endorse the position of the coalition which appears on its website ( The third forum, The Myth of the Failing Student, will be held on March 24. Later in the meeting, Board President Nancy Peppler, who attended the forum, commented that it was “heartbreaking” to hear teachers describe the difficulty of teaching when there is such strong emphasis on government-mandated testing.

Public school funding loss disputed: Resident Charles Drake disputed the Lay Finance Committee’s statement that public schools lose funding because of money allocated to non-public schools.

Field trips

The board approved two field trips:

  • Heights High girls’ lacrosse team to Palo Alto, Calif., April 2–8
  • Heights High varsity softball team to Cocoa Beach, Fla., April 4–10

Nancy Peppler noted that the students’ families and team fundraising pay for these trips.

Policy updates

The board approved NEOLA policy updates. NEOLA assists school districts in complying with state and federal laws.

Wiley building conditions

Unforeseen conditions were found at Wiley Middle School when walls and floors were opened during renovation. Water is seeping into the foundation, pipes are corroded, and the electric panel has too great a draw. The board approved revision of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and elevator packages with a total value of $3,600,028, which will be covered in full by the contingency already in the project budget. Photos of progress will be posted on the district’s website (

Bus purchases

The board approved bid advertising by the Ohio Schools Council Cooperative through which the district cooperatively purchases school buses with other districts. Buses typically last about 10 years.


The board accepted a $100 donation to Boulevard Elementary School.

OSBA on testing

On Feb. 18 the Ohio School Boards Association will hold a meeting on testing.

Salvage of materials

Board Member Eric Silverman reported that the facilities committee is making an effort to salvage items and materials that can be preserved during demolition.

PTA input

Board Member Kal Zucker reported that the PTA is working with the district to provide healthier breakfast foods to students. The PTA has also provided feedback regarding testing.

Strategic planning

Board Member Eric Coble reported that a 20-person Strategic Planning Committee has begun working on a five-year plan for the district. Focus groups include people who have not previously been active in providing feedback to the district. Teachers and students are being surveyed, and the general public will have an opportunity to give input in March.

Reaching Heights event

Reaching Heights is sponsoring a concert at Severance Hall on Feb. 24 in which hundreds of vocal and instrumental music students from the district’s schools will perform. Tickets are available through Reaching Heights.

LWV Observer: Nancy Dietrich.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:42 AM, 02.14.2015