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

MARCH 3, 2015

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public comments
  • Field trips
  • Wiley construction work
  • Coventry building leases
  • Donations
  • Testing concerns
  • Upcoming events

Board Vice President Ron Register and Board Member Eric Coble were absent.

Awards and recognitions

Superintendent Talisa Dixon recognized Heights High student Thomas Pharis for being named a U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidate, and [also recognized] Heights High students who were selected to sing in a February performance of the All-State Choir.

Public comments

Facilities committee report: Malia Lewis, chair of the facilities project’s career and technical education committee, provided her committee’s report to the board. Board President Nancy Peppler suggested holding another meeting dedicated to a full reporting and discussion among the board and all the facilities committees.

Realtor school ratings: Martha Goble, director of Heights Community Congress (HCC), and Ralph Day, HCC volunteer, reported that HCC is currently researching a realtor practice, where some widely publicized real estate listings have begun to include color and number codes which rate the public school that is closest to each individual house in the listing. Criteria by which schools are rated are not stated, but ratings given to schools in the CH-UH district have been uniformly low. The ratings are created by an organization called Great Schools, which is connected to a California venture capital firm that promotes charter and online schools. HCC is concerned that such a practice could result in community re-segregation and has requested information from Great Schools about financial gain associated with its provision of ratings. HCC is holding a panel discussion and forum on the topic the evening of April 24 at the Lee Road Library. The event is free and open to the public. HCC asked the district to provide a panel member and assist in communicating the event. They are also seeking partners in addressing the issue.

Field trips

The board approved the following field trips:

  • Fairfax Elementary School fifth-grade students to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Educational Center in Peninsula, March 3–6
  • Sixth- to eighth-grade students in the Middle School Scholars Program to the Ohio Model U.N. Conference in Columbus, March 15–17
  • Heights High Students of Promise to Atlanta, Ga., May 13–17

Wiley construction work

The board approved additional electrical work at Wiley, which is necessary for Heights High’s temporary relocation to Wiley. The work includes security camera relocation, wireless relocation and public address system adjustments. Bidding for kitchen equipment, fencing and landscaping is pending. Photos showing facilities work are on the district website.

Coventry building leases

The board authorized the execution of three nonbinding lease proposals for portions of the Coventry School building to Connections, Wingspan Care Group, and Sherri Skedel for student and family counseling space.


The board accepted donations of $125 to Fairfax Elementary School, $865 to Monticello Middle School, and $55.61 to Roxboro Middle School.

Testing concerns

Responding to a query from Board President Nancy Peppler, Superintendent Dixon stated that testing is overshadowing teaching and learning. She wants the district to streamline testing by focusing on high quality, appropriate assessments that inform teachers about students’ current needs so they can adjust classroom teaching to meet those needs. A forum/work session on testing will take place in April. Peppler expressed board support for the concept.

Upcoming events

The Alumni Foundation’s annual pancake breakfast will take place April 19 at the high school. A joint meeting between the board and Cleveland Heights City Council will be held on March 30, at 6:30 p.m., in Cleveland Heights City Hall Council Chambers.

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.

Read More on Schools
Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 11:05 AM, 03.18.2015