Cleveland Heights University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 2-17-2015

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

  • The superintendent’s goals
  • High school transition to Wiley
  • IT update

All board members were present.

The superintendent’s goals

Superintendent Talisa Dixon presented an update on her areas of focus, which include:

  • Clear goals and benchmarks
  • Evidence and proof that benchmarks are being met, as demonstrated by collected data and recommendations
  • Accountability and responsibility to students and parents
  • Sustainability, meaning that resources and staff development would be available
  • Equitability for any group of students

The district maintains the following programs:

  • K–5 primary program, which is a plan where students achieve to read at grade level
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Title I program, which is schoolwide
  • Advanced Placement
  • Gifted and Talented

Dixon addressed the board’s various questions, including whether students are learning, how learning can be measured, and what can be done for students who are learning and those who are not.

High school transition to Wiley

Dixon provided a monthly calendar for the school year showing events while the high school transitions to Wiley. On May 12, 2015, a time capsule burial celebration is planned.

IT update

E-rate: E-rate is a funding program for school technology administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), an independent, not-for profit company designated by the FCC. The USAC will provide funding or reimbursement for items in e-rate categories. The district will apply for e-rate funds in 2016, but there is no guarantee they will be available. Based on funds leftover or reimbursed in 2009 and 2011, this approach is allowing the district to provide every elementary classroom with new high-speed cable and wireless access points by September 2015, as well as new wireless access points at Monticello and Roxboro middle schools by July 2016. Further planned upgrades at the middle schools include network infrastructure and select cabling only, due to projected renovations. E-rate monies will be important for renovations in the high school. Upgrades to Wiley during the facilities renovation include high capacity cable and new wireless access points.

New technology pilot program, which includes:

  • Selecting a cart system and piloting devices to deliver Netbooks to classrooms daily for the high school. Existing Netbooks deployed to classrooms for the 2014–15 school year must be replaced for the next school year. Chromebooks and Dell 330 series notebooks have been tested for daily instruction since August 2014. The staff favors Chromebooks, which are cheaper. Digital curricular tools and mandated tests rely on updated technology, such as Agile Mind and others. As part of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation system rubric, “accomplished” teachers must use such materials and resources to actively engage students.
  • Rolling out new instructional devices for the 2015–16 school year for middle school students, including a pilot laptop cart program for seventh and eighth grade. A device enrollment program must be implemented to keep stolen iPads under district control.
  • Upgrading computer labs in the elementary schools. Cost-effective methods to add iPads for instruction will be investigated.

Technology device forecast: The five-year forecast for future IT needs includes a comprehensive budget that will continue to be refined but is now about $2.9 million.

Next steps: The next steps include completing the device forecast, planning and budgeting for e-rate improvements, working to finalize the device forecast and budget, and evaluating future technological needs for facilities at the new high school in 2017.

LWV Observer: Lillian Houser.

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 mbarnes9515@gmail.com 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.

League of Women Voters

Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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