LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 6-7-2016]

JUNE 7, 2016

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public comments
  • Strategic Plan Goal 1
  • English textbook
  • Construction change orders
  • Playground improvement
  • Special education transportation
  • Donations
  • Finance
  • Board president’s report  
  • Resolution to state board of education

All board members were present.

Awards and recognitions

Several students were recognized for achievement in art awards. Vince Nemeth, Roxboro Elementary School physical education teacher, was recognized for his Jump Rope for Heart record and PPG Foundation grant award [of $8,000]. Jeffrey Johnston, director of student services, presented the Excellence in Education Awards to Judy Dell’Aquila, coordinator of special education, and Brandon Biggom, special education aide at Roxboro. Students Reid Auters and Willtrell Harlson were recognized. Brian Williams, coordinator of alternative education at Heights High, and Claude Holland, options teacher, introduced the options ambassadors Darian Cruz, Cherronn Hodges and Nathan Jolly. These three Heights High students visited and attended school for four days in London. Each ambassador presented comments on their trip and about the program. Michelle Phelps, career development coordinator, spoke about the Career Tech Education program of the month—career services. District retirees, administrators, teachers and staff were recognized.

Public comments  

Exchange students: AFS students Khaby Ba from Senegal; Vaness Msagwa from Tanzania; and Nan M’Barka Ali from Mali spoke about their school experiences at Heights High.

Levy campaign: Dallas Schubert, chair of Citizens for Heights Schools, thanked the board for putting the levy on the November ballot. She asked the board to appoint a liaison from the board for the committee. Board Member Kal Zucker volunteered for this position. Schubert asked the board to make clear to the public the consequences if the levy fails.

Vocal music concerns: An alumni member and student asked the board to address concerns in the vocal music department at Heights High. Zucker stated that the board session was not the forum for discussing this topic.

Strategic Plan Goal 1

A presentation updating the strategic plan centered on increasing the graduation rate from 82 percent to 90 percent. The strategies adopted included a monthly development plan for school counselors; an eight-year career and tech plan for students; a student watch list; the option program; the 21st century program; restart courses; exploration of college readiness; summer programs for elementary, middle, and high school students; and discussion of the mobility factor and tracking students.

English textbook

On third reading, the board approved the adoption of the English Language Arts textbook.

Construction change orders

The board approved the following change orders for the high school construction:

  • Change order No. 40 for electrical updates, structural items, and change of materials; total value $396,482.
  • Change order No. 41 for fireproofing materials; total value $257,360.
  • Change order No.42 for auditorium lighting, curtain, and sprinkling system; total value $466,082.

These change orders, which came from uncertainties in material costs and ordering time frames, provoked much discussion.

Playground improvement

The board approved the recommendation [from a May 31] bid for the Oxford and Roxboro elementary schools, and Milliken playground improvement project.  

Special education transportation

The board approved the special education transportation service contract between the board of education and Suburban Transportation.


The board accepted the following donations:

  • $1,594.20 to Boulevard Elementary School
  • $1,291 to Canterbury Elementary School
  • $423 to Fairfax Elementary School
  • $419 to Heights High
  • $1,000 to Monticello Middle School
  • $501 to Noble Elementary School
  • $1,423.40 to Roxboro Elementary School
  • $5,165 to the Jason D. West Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • $750 to the Ruth E. Friedman Scholarship fund
  • $80 to the Brandon “Biz” James Scholarship fund
  • $1,000 to the Milton & Esther Moss Scholarship Fund
  • $500 to the Samuel Appleton Auto Tech Scholarship fund
  • $200 to the CH-UH Board of Education


The board approved the financial reports, appropriation adjustment authority, temporary appropriations, resolution to transfer funds, resolution to transfer funds and close zero balance fund, resolution to advance funds, resolution to increase expected revenues, resolution to increase appropriations, resolution to void stale dated checks, new mileage rates, and the levy resolution.

Board president’s report  

Kal Zucker, board president, commented on the many scholarship awards, the 373 students who graduated, the amazing student artwork, and the levy questions. Zucker said the schools are working to make students’ lives better. He commented on a graduate who had been a former refugee and received scholarships for college.

Resolution to state board of education

The board approved a resolution brought forth by Ron Register, board vice president. The resolution, addressed to the state board of education, objected to the large subsidies, over $22 million, going to charter schools and using the school district’s tax money since 2000. Register noted that many charter schools open and close without proper oversight by the state. The board joins 60 other school districts in this resolution, which includes invoicing the state for the amount cited to protest the state’s charter school policies. 

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

Read More on Schools
Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 6:38 PM, 06.19.2016