Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 11-6-2017

NOVEMBER 6, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Recognition of master teachers and
  • Recognition of Tiger Team members
  • Authorization to use consent agenda
  • Consent agenda
  • Jon Peterson scholarships
  • Noble National Register designation
  • Coventry building update
  • New materials for board members and the community

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. After an executive session that began at 6:30 p.m., the board reconvened in open session from 7:05 p.m. to 9:10 p.m., at which time the board returned to executive session.

Public comments

Bullying of transgender students: A transgender Cleveland Heights High School junior spoke about the bullying and harassment encountered [at school]. The student and the student’s mother asked that a slur in the musical “Shrek” be removed. They met with the superintendent and are hopeful that discussions about diversity will happen.

Recognition of master teachers 

Dixon recognized elementary and middle school teachers who achieved master teacher status: Patrick Carpenter, Mark Dougherty and Leslie Garrett. Melissa Garcar and Teresa Taylor-Ware renewed their master [teacher] status. The high school master teachers could not be available, so they will be honored at a subsequent meeting.

Recognition of Tiger Team members

Tiger Team Members of the month, nominated by colleagues, were Joyce Bukovac, James Dubsky, Charlene Lightfoot, Lia Radke, Jackie Taylor, Rita Haag, Kristen Kephart, Heather Higham, Heather Richardson, Alexia Boyles, Tanya Niraj and Christina Bauer.

Authorization to use consent agenda 

To more efficiently use meeting time, the board authorized the use of a consent agenda that follows parliamentary procedure and Robert's Rules of Order. This agenda bundles several items for board approval by a single motion and includes personnel, education services and business services. Documentation concerning these items is provided to all board members and the public in advance, and items may be removed at the request of any board member.

Consent agenda

At this meeting, the board used the consent agenda to approve personnel matters, two student field trips, seven donations, the 2017–18 activity budget and purpose statements, and the resolution of payment of purchase orders exceeding $3,000. [There was no discussion of any of these items, but all can be accessed through the district’s website,; click on BoardDocs.]

Jon Peterson scholarships

Director of Student Services Karen Liddell did a presentation regarding the Jon Peterson special needs and autism scholarships, an Ohio voucher program. She discussed local district dollars going to providers outside the district. These scholarships cover various disability areas such as speech, language, hearing and vision impairments, brain injury, autism, and multiple handicaps. They can be applied for throughout the year and state dollars for the 2017–18 school year total $1.8 million, with 168 Heights students receiving these scholarships. In the 2012–13 school year, only 27 students applied. The Ohio Board of Education works with 53 providers in Cuyahoga County that encourage eligible students to apply. However, the school district already provides many of these services. Other counties have far fewer providers. So far this year, 31 students have applied for an autism scholarship.

Nobel National Register designation

Rachel Stuckie, an Ursuline College graduate student in historical preservation, presented a proposal to nominate Noble Elementary School [to] the National Register of Historic Places. She asked the board for permission to start the process, which would take about a year to complete. The district could still demolish, renovate, or sell the building, built in 1922. Roxboro and Oxford schools are on the registry. The designation would be advantageous because tax credits would be available and history would be preserved. The board gave permission to start the process.

Coventry building update

Those renting space at the former Coventry School building are not signing monthly leases and, despite low monthly rent, are moving out. The district is still incurring maintenance expenses. The district does not want to be a landlord and would like the city to take the building for $1.

District calendars

District calendars for the 2018–19 and 2019–20 school years were discussed. The board asked questions about in-service days, three-day weekends, closing of the school on Election Day, and Christian holidays. The community can give input on the calendars on the district website. [These calendars can be found on the BoardDocs site - see access description above. Feedback access is provided through the website’s Infinite Campus link.]

New materials for board members and the community

The new board handbook that will be given to new board members is consistent with changes across the state.

President Register ordered copies of the magazine Properties, featuring a layout of Cleveland Heights, for all board members. Also, the district profile circular will be mailed to residents

LWV Observer: Lillian Houser.

To receive regular email postings of full reports, send an email 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 10, Issue 12, Posted 4:55 PM, 01.01.2018