LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 7-12-2016]

JULY 12, 2016

  • Public comments
  • 2016 graduation class
  • Field trip
  • NEOLA policies
  • Teachers rehired
  • High school change orders
  • Courts and fields
  • Coventry School building
  • Donations
  • Finance
  • Pre-K
  • Swimming pool
  • Charter schools studies

Board member James Posch was absent.

Public comments

Building plans and reconfiguration: Residents Allen Wilkinson and Malia Lewis spoke about an alternative plan for Wiley because the bond funds for renovation may not be enough. They believe that restoration of the Wiley site as a grade seven-eight middle school would save money and recover some of the expenses used to convert Wiley to the temporary high school. Instead of [renovating] two middle schools, Wiley could be converted to a grade seven-eight middle school, and only one middle school would have to be [renovated]. A new grade five-six building could be placed on the Boulevard Elementary School site. They also spoke of other options, such as rehabbing Monticello or Roxboro middle schools to allow a district-wide pre-K program to be introduced without space constraints. Later in the meeting, board member Ron Register asked the board to study these proposals.

2016 graduation class

Superintendent Talisa Dixon requested approval of the Heights High graduation class of 2016 of more than 370 students. The summer graduation will be in August, and the number of summer graduates will be announced. Board member Eric Silverman asked that the Passport folders for the diplomas be updated.

Field trip

The board approved the July 23–24 field trip for the Heights High Boys and Girls varsity soccer team to Columbus.

NEOLA policies

There was a second reading of the NEOLA [formerly known as the North East Ohio Learning Associates] policies. The board discussed religious holiday celebrations and what constitutes approved decorations. The third reading will be in August.

Teachers rehired

The board has called back 33 of the 52 laid-off teachers.

High school change orders

The board approved approximately $1.18 million in change orders for the high school renovation project. The change orders came from uncertainties in material costs and unforeseen circumstances and generated much discussion. A representative from PMC/Regency [the owner’s representative overseeing the project] explained that change orders fell into four categories:

  • Existing unforeseen conditions, which included stones protruding and interfering with the new structure, an upper ceiling in the auditorium, and poorly attached bricks at the backside of the auditorium.
  • Permit or code requirements, which included revised exterior masonry to bring material to code, smoke vents in the roofing assembly, and increased fire rating for various doors.
  • Expanded scope of work, which included removing a skylight, adding a wooden floor in the vocal music room, adding technology and power to support the fashion career tech unit, and adding 60 security cameras.
  • Credit back to the district, which included refund of permit dollars, fireproofing areas, and removing a fixed auxiliary gym sound system for replacement with a portable system. The feasibility of using a portable system was discussed and will be reviewed.

Courts and fields

The board approved the lease agreement with the City of Cleveland Heights to use courts and fields for the 2016–17 school year at $75 per hour.

Coventry School building

The board approved the following lease agreements for the former Coventry School: ARTFUL OHIO, Ensemble Theatre; Family Connections; Reaching Heights; FutureHeights; Lake Erie Ink: A Writing Space for Youth Inc.; Bellefaire JCB; and Sherri Skedel, LISW.


The board accepted the following donations:

  • $65 to Boulevard Elementary School
  • $111.18 to Canterbury Elementary School
  • $191.54 to Fairfax Elementary School
  • $1,243.61 to Heights High
  • $25.64 to Monticello Middle School
  • $300 to Noble Elementary School
  • $499.97 to Roxboro Elementary School
  • $20 to the Jason D. West Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • $367.17 to Gearity Professional Development School
  • $303.08 to Oxford Elementary School
  • $118.32 to Roxboro Middle School
  • $300 to the Faith’s Alive Program


The board approved the financial reports and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library’s alternative tax budget.


The board discussed strengthening the pre-K best practices movement.

Swimming pool

It was recommended that a building utilization study be done for the swimming pool to determine how the students, as well as the community, will use the pool.

Charter schools studies

Studies show that charter schools don’t do as well as the public schools. Over 200 charter schools have failed. The audit controversy surrounding the online charter school, Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, was noted. The administrators of the online charter want to delay the audit.

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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