Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-6-20

OCTOBER 6, 2020


  • Community comments 
  • Recognition of AP scholars
  • Superintendent’s update on reopening
  • Treasurer’s report 
  • Board comments and announcements


Board President Jodi Sourini and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby, Treasurer Scott Gainer, and George Petkac, director of business operations. After an executive session, the public meeting began at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 8:05 p.m.

Public comments

Heights alumna Lynette Marsh noted an error in a document regarding former principals and asked that Katie Shorter be recognized as the first black principal at Canterbury Elementary School. Superintendent Kirby is investigating the issue. 

Heights alumnus Charles Drake responded to items on the teacher contract presented at the September 29 board meeting. He compared the teacher benefits in the proposed contract with the benefits provided in the superintendent’s and treasurer’s contracts and challenged the inequity of that offered to teachers vs. administrators.

Recognition of AP Scholars

Superintendent Kirby recognized the 2020 AP Scholars and commended the teachers who have promoted student participation in AP classes. Because of their efforts, the number of students scoring at least three on the AP exam has increased 20 percent from 2018-2019. Participating students have also earned college credit. She also recognized two students who are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists and thus advance to the next level of competition. 

Superintendent’s update on reopening

The District Leadership Team met to review district plans, student attendance, and work done on literacy. The team is reviewing survey data related to reopening the schools. They are taking into account the state public health advisory system as they develop a plan for returning to in-person school. Reopening Committee meetings have begun so families can learn about the educational models they can choose. Superintendent Kirby said that families need to feel comfortable, whether they choose a hybrid model or continue classes remotely.

She also noted improvements in communication with the community: the district is launching a new “Tiger App," principals have weekly communications with their families, and a monthly newsletter was started in September. 

Treasurer’s report

Treasurer Gainer is working to secure funds to offset Covid-related expenses. The Oct. 22 board work session will focus on EdChoice and district finances.

Board comments

Ms. Sourini attended the Northeast Ohio School Board Presidents meeting. Topics centered on school reopening plans. Schools reported that approximately one-third of their students chose to continue remote learning.

The Heights Schools Foundation has rescheduled the Hall of Fame induction ceremony to Friday, Oct. 16, on Homecoming Weekend. The program will be virtual.

Malia Lewis will attend and report on the next Reaching Heights board of directors meeting. Bev Wright volunteered to serve on the School Board Policy Committee.

Upcoming meetings include a work session on Oct. 20, which will focus on EdChoice. The next regular meeting will be held Thursday, Nov, 5, because Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day. Both will be held virtually, streamed on the district’s YouTube channel, and recorded for later viewing. They can also be viewed at:

LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.

Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 9:09 AM, 11.04.2020