Schools

Yard signs celebrate Heights High seniors

Maybe you have seen them—nearly 400 Heights High Class of 2020 yard signs that sprouted up in early May, in the yards and windows of this year’s graduating seniors.

“Our seniors will not have the same end-of-year experience that they expected, and we feel so bad about that,” said Jane Simeri, Heights High’s senior class principal. “We want these signs to show the class of 2020 and our community that we are very proud of them.”

The yard signs were installed by the CH-UH bus drivers, using district vans, on May 6 and 7.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 3:47 PM, 05.18.2020

CH-UH kindergartens host virtual info nights May 14-21

Beginning May 14, each Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District elementary school will host an online Kindergarten Information Night for incoming and prospective families.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet school principals and teachers, ask questions, and take virtual tours of the buildings—all from home. To join the event, visit www.chuh.org for each school's Google Meet link.

To find the school that corresponds to your place of residence, use the district’s online interactive boundary map at www.chuh.org/InteractiveBoundariesMap.aspx.

Here is a complete list of the information night dates and times:

  • Boulevard Elementary School: May 21, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
  • Canterbury Elementary School: May 14, 6 p.m.
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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 12:51 PM, 05.13.2020

Post a congratulatory "shout out"; honor a 2020 graduate

The end of one's senior year is typically a time of celebrationritualized by prideful and teary graduation walks, group photo sessions and crowded backyard barbecues. Due to COVID-19, the class of 2020 must refrain from all these activities.

In order to publicly recognize this graduating class, the Heights Observer is offering congratulatory messaging in its June issue.

This opportunity is open to parents, extended family, friends, teammates, or anyone who wants to offer best wishes. Shout-outs can honor 2020 graduates of any high school, college or other educational program. 

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 5:13 PM, 05.04.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 5-4-2020

MAY 5, 2020

 

  • Public comments
  • Consent agenda
  • District finances
  • Board comments
  • Superintendent comments
  • Board policies

 

Board President Jodi Sourini and members James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was held remotely and lasted one hour.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.28.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 4-21-2020

APRIL 21, 2020

 

  • Early Childhood Education Task Force
  • Advanced Placement programming
  • Board approvals

 

The meeting began at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. It was conducted remotely, with each board member, the treasurer and superintendent joining the meeting from their homes. Board President Jodi Sourini and members James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer.

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 9:23 AM, 05.28.2020

AVID students celebrate college acceptances

Alexis Payne, a senior at Heights High, got into her top three college choices. She’s going to Eastern Michigan, third on her list, because it gave her a full ride. Jadrian Gantt made it into his top choice, the University of North Carolina. Yassine Bounit got into his top three choices, and Jaylen Benson has been accepted at more than 15 universities. 

Ronelle Drakeford is choosing between Georgia State University and Fisk University, which gave her a full ride. Christian Dillard is choosing between Morehouse, UNC, and the University of Connecticut, where he was awarded $96,000 over four years.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 12:15 PM, 04.30.2020

Two Heights students describe concerns and hopes

If you’d asked CH-UH students two months ago what they thought would make the end of the school year memorable, they wouldn’t have envisioned this.

They might have said they’d be wrapping up their favorite classes with creative projects and presentations. They might have anticipated playing on school sports teams, taking part in spring plays and performances, or enjoying end-of-the-year activities like field trips and class picnics.

Since Gov. Mike DeWine closed all Ohio schools on March 12 due to the coronavirus, all of those activities are up in the air. [As of this writing,] nobody knows if schools will reopen before the scheduled end of the school year, or even return to a normal schedule next fall.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 11:29 AM, 04.30.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 4-7-2020

APRIL 7, 2020

 

  • Public comment 
  • Impact of EdChoice vouchers on district budget
  • Board approvals
  • COVID-19 update

 

The board met at 7 p.m. The start of the meeting was delayed due to technical difficulties as the meeting was conducted remotely, with each school board member, the treasurer and superintendent joining the meeting from their homes. Board President Jodi Sourini, James Posch, Dan Heinz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted 59 minutes.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 10:27 AM, 04.21.2020

CH's Sackey earns technology award

Cleveland Heights resident and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) student Ibrahim Sackey has been named a Student Technology Champion by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Sackey received one of the League’s three Terry O’Banion Student Technology Awards, given to community college students with a talent and passion for technology.

A first-generation college student, Sackey is set to graduate from Tri-C this spring with an Associate of Applied Business degree in information technology with a concentration in networking software. He has already earned 10 professional certificates.

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Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 3:55 PM, 04.01.2020

Kirby to deliver State of our Schools address March 4

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby will deliver the 2020 State of our Schools Address on March 4, at Cleveland Heights High School.

At the event, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m., each CH-UH public school and several clubs will display their accomplishments and strengths in a walk-through showcase. In addition, sections of the high school building will be open for self-guided tours.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 4:36 PM, 02.27.2020

Roxboro Middle School presents 'Annie Jr.'

Musical theater returns to the newly renovated Roxboro Middle School on March 5 and 6, when “Annie Jr.” will have a two-night run, featuring performances by 28 middle school students. An additional 17 students comprise the production’s stage crew.

Andrew Susick, Roxboro Middle School’s new vocal music teacher, is the show’s director. In his 15th year as a music educator, Susick also leads all of Roxboro Middle School’s choirs.

Asked why the community should come out and see this play, Susick responded, “The story of 'Annie' shares an important message about the true nature of family. Annie's cheerful outlook on life and plucky spirit demonstrate how a family is made up of those who you surround yourself with and care for, regardless of where you are born or where you live. Our Roxboro Middle School students, teachers, parents and community have all come together as a family to put on a show that you won't want to miss!"

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 4:35 PM, 02.27.2020

Heights students delve into history of slavery and the Holocaust

Students at Heights High can take a wide range of elective classes. They can focus on their passions, such as music or art; or on their future careers, such as engineering or Web design. Or, they can expand their worldview by taking African American history or a course on the Holocaust. Mark Sack, who teaches the Holocaust course, wanted to share what his students learn with the rest of the school. He recently had an opportunity to do so, thanks to a grant from the @akiva program of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.

The @akiva scholars-in-residence program brings authors, actors, artists, and thinkers from across the country to meet with Cleveland-area teens. The program sponsored a mid-January visit to Heights High from Susan Stein, acclaimed educator, actress, playwright, and teaching artist.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 4:38 PM, 02.27.2020

Swim Cadets are 'Out of this World' for 2020 show

The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 15-member synchronized swim club, will present its annual show March 5–7, 7 p.m., at the Heights High pool. The theme of this year’s show is "Out of this World."

High school synchronized swim teams are a rarity, and this group maintains special significance as the oldest extracurricular club at Heights High, with 81 years in existence. 

The young women are responsible for all the creative aspects of the show, including choreography, music, theater lighting and costuming, as well as recruiting "guy cadets" to perform during costume changes. The club fundraises regularly in order to present a high-level, entertaining production, full of athleticism, grace and teamwork. The annual performance is the result of five months of 12- to 15-hour practice weeks.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:28 PM, 01.31.2020

School levy forum to be held Feb. 20

Three community groups will host a public forum to discuss Issue 26, the school levy that will be on the March 17 ballot. The event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights are hosting the forum, which is free and open to the public. A balanced panel of community activists will discuss the delicate balance between public school funding and tax burden.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education has asked residents to approve a property tax levy of an additional 7.9 mills. The levy would add $23 per month for each $100,000 of home value, according to the school board. 

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:44 PM, 01.31.2020

CH-UH schools to host kindergarten info nights

Beginning Feb. 25, each Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District elementary school will host a Kindergarten Information Night for incoming and prospective families. 
 
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the school principals and teachers, ask questions, and tour the buildings. Several of the schools will also offer dinner, and childcare or playtime services.
 
To find the school that corresponds to your place of residence, use the district’s online interactive boundary map, at www.chuh.org/InteractiveBoundariesMap.aspx.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:25 PM, 01.31.2020

Canterbury students create art to accompany music

Students at Canterbury Elementary School know a thing or two about synesthesia or, more specifically, chromaesthesia—seeing colors or shapes while listening to music. The school practices Mindful Music every morning, when students are encouraged to close their eyes, let their minds wander, and “picture” the music.

They recently had an opportunity to put this skill, and their knowledge of classical music and mixed media art forms, to good use under the guidance of Holly Spooner, art teacher at Canterbury. Students in grades two through five created visual images to accompany the Cleveland Suburban Symphony Orchestra’s Concert for Families at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on Dec. 8.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:23 PM, 01.31.2020

Roxboro students 'Walk for Water'

After reading A Long Walk to Water in their English classes, sixth-graders at Roxboro Middle School organized their own Dec. 20 walkathon, and raised more than $2,000 for the Water for South Sudan Project. 

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:19 PM, 01.31.2020

Heights High students 'Sing Out' against hate

The Heights High English classes of Donna Feldman and David Jurns competed in the Maltz Museum’s "Stop the Hate: Youth Sing Out" competition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Dec. 11. The two tied for first place, out of 27 competitors, winning a $5,000 award that the school will use for anti-bias education. In the photo above (from left), Marissa Veccia, Emma Vail, Alexis Dixon, Daymonique Judge and Maple Buescher perform.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 5:09 PM, 01.31.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 1-7-2020

JANUARY 7, 2020

 

  • Recognition of students, teachers, staff, and the board
  • Public comments
  • Resolution opposing voucher expansion
  • Other business

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m., after executive session, and ended at 9:47 p.m. 

Before opening the regular meeting, the board held an organizational meeting. All officers remained in the positions in which they served in 2019. Treasurer Gainer administered the oath of office to newly re-elected board members James Posch and Beverly Wright.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 3:53 PM, 01.31.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 12-9-2019

DECEMBER 9, 2019

 

  • University Heights civic awards 
  • Middle school inequities
  • Five-year forecast
  • University Square redevelopment
  • School levy
  • Final report on middle school renovations
  • Other business

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. after executive session and ended at 9:17 p.m.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 3:50 PM, 01.31.2020

District to host Jan. 9 community meeting on vouchers

On Jan. 9, CH-UH City School District will host a community meeting on the topic of EdChoice and how it affects school funding. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Heights High, and the public is invited.

At the meeting, the district will outline the adverse effects on public schools of the Ohio EdChoice Scholarship program, which allows families living within the boundaries of designated schools to receive a voucher to attend a private school. It will also suggest actions to take, to work toward changes in how the state funds school districts; and provide information on the proposed 7.9-mill operating levy—set to be on the ballot on March 17—and school financing in general.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:32 AM, 01.03.2020

CH-UH makes AP District Honor Roll

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is one of 250 school districts in the U.S. and Canada, and one of 10 school districts in Ohio, to earn a spot on the College Board’s 10th annual AP District Honor Roll. 

To achieve the honor, Cleveland Heights High School had to, since 2017, increase the number of students participating in AP (Advanced Placement), while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. (The range of AP scores is 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, and 3 and above considered passing. Most colleges will give college credit for a score in the 3 to 5 range.)

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:41 AM, 01.03.2020

Robotics club seeks volunteers

The 40 students in the Heights High Robotics Team are a pretty capable bunch: They can design, program, build, and operate robotic units that thread a nine-inch object onto a pole, throw a ball at a hard plastic flag to make it spin, and park on a raised platform. But right now, they need your help.

Heights High will host its first VEX Robotics Competition on Saturday, Jan. 25, with 50 teams coming from, among other schools, Mahoning, Wooster, Hawken and Shaker. The club needs volunteers to do everything: selling concessions, directing traffic in the parking lot, helping teams set up for their next event, and more.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:48 AM, 01.03.2020

Young scientists thrive at Gearity

Students at Gearity Professional Development School in University Heights have the opportunity to become actual ecologists, meteorologists, paleontologists and engineers twice each week, when they visit the school’s science lab. On Nov. 21, they embodied those professional roles in their capstone presentations. This thrice-yearly event enables students to show what they learned in science and English language arts during each trimester.

As parents and community members visited the classrooms, students in kindergarten through fifth grade presented their projects highlighting what they had learned in specific topic areas.

Kindergartners focused on their observations on weather. They had made their own rain gauges and windsocks, and then hypothesized about the best locations for these weather tools. They then conducted outdoor investigations to prove or disprove their predictions, and eventually took them home to place in their own yards.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:39 AM, 01.03.2020

CH-UH district places operating levy on March 17 ballot

The CH-UH City School District has voted to place a 7.9-mill operating levy on the March 17 ballot.

The school board made the decision on Dec. 9, after reviewing a report from its citizen-led Lay Finance Committee (LFC), delivered by committee member Ryan Routh at its Nov. 5 meeting. The report stated that the district will face a clear need for increased operating support in the first half of 2020 in order to avoid cuts to educational programming.

“Our committee has carefully reviewed the financial projections for the CH-UH school district,” said Routh. “We believe that an operating levy of 7.9 mills is the minimum amount needed to sufficiently cover the costs to operate the district. This increased support would have to be approved by voters in March 2020 in order to avoid harmful budget cuts.”

The LFC recommended a levy of 7.9–9.5 mills.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 12.17.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 12-3-2019

DECEMBER 3, 2019

Library board of trustees interviews and selection

Present were board President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. The meeting was brought to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 9 p.m.

Seven individuals were interviewed for two positions; one position was for two years (the remainder of an unexpired term) and the other for the full seven-year term. 

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 2:38 PM, 01.31.2020

Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board of Education work session highlights 11-25-2019

NOVEMBER 25, 2019

 

  • Ohio School Report Card performance, part III
  • Middle school equity analysis

 

Present were board President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:10 p.m. and adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 2:36 PM, 01.31.2020

School collaborates with Heights businesses to make book fair local

In the vast third-floor library at Communion of Saints School, the school’s volunteer librarians take very seriously the task of helping students find their “book match”—whether it’s the newest Newbery Medal winner, a book about sports, a graphic novel, or material to help with a school report. They note student requests for books that aren’t part of the library’s collection, and follow book releases and national library lists to stay on top of the most recent titles. Then, they compile wish lists and start preparing for the school book fair.

Tired of the highly commercialized fairs that seem to be part of today’s “big-box” school book-fair experience, the librarians brainstormed better ways to fundraise for their library. They wanted the best quality books for students and, knowing Cleveland Heights’ rich history of supporting libraries and independent bookstores, wanted to keep things local.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:58 AM, 12.03.2019

Middle school students propose green solutions

We’ve all seen it: puddles of water gathering around the clogged drains in our driveways, rivulets of water running down the sidewalks, and standing water pooling in our yards. That’s stormwater runoff, and it’s a problem.

As that water moves over impervious surfaces, such as roads and parking lots, it picks up pollutants and harmful chemicals and carries them into freshwater and oceans. Due to urban development and an increase in paved surfaces, stormwater is increasing in communities throughout the country, including Cleveland Heights and University Heights. But seventh-graders in Lee Ann Chambers’ and Sarah Cusick’s science classes at Monticello Middle School, and Christine Smrdel’s and Joshua Luton’s classes at Roxboro Middle School, have solutions. 

The students began their Earth’s Water unit by visiting Cleveland MetroParks’ Watershed Stewardship Center to learn about stormwater runoff and explore green infrastructure options to reduce its impact. They worked in pairs or small groups to research solutions, eventually settling on one or two that they would like to see implemented on their own school campuses.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 12.03.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 11-5-2019

NOVEMBER 5, 2019 

 

  • Shining Star CLE winner
  • Public comments
  • Five-year financial forecast
  • Operating levy proposed
  • Proposed UH residential development
  • Other announcements

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. after an executive session, and ended at 9:26 p.m. 

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.18.2019

Heights High senior wins Shining Star CLE

The first time Kristen Lyons performed on stage was in a youth production of "The Pied Piper." She played a rat whose sole job was to scurry across the stage and steal a pot from a townsperson, who happened to be played by her sister. The Heights High senior has come a long way since then, and was recently named the grand-prize winner of Shining Star CLE, an annual singing competition, sponsored by Montefiore.

Lyons has been singing as long as she can remember, and hopes to study musical theater in college next year. According to her mother, Andrea Lyons, “She joined this competition as a way to give back to the community.” The money raised through admission tickets for the final event helps fund memory care units at Montefiore and The Weils.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 11:11 AM, 10.29.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 10-1-2019

OCTOBER 1, 2019 

 

  • Recognition of building crews and students
  • Facilities renovation update
  • Approval of five-year financial forecast
  • Levy for 2020

 

President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heinz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Beverly Wright were present. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The regular meeting began at 7:20 p.m., after conclusion of an executive session, and ended at 8:45 p.m. 

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 11:10 AM, 11.18.2019

Cleveland Heights- University Heights Board of Education work session 9-17-2019

SEPTEMBER 17, 2019

 

  • Union agreements
  • Family Engagement Task Force update
  • District report card: data series, part 1

 

Board President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Jim Posch, and Beverly Wright were present. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. and adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:33 AM, 10.15.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 9-3-2019

SEPTEMBER 3, 2019

 

  • District events
  • AP scholars
  • LGBTQ support
  • Metal detector purchase
  • Resolution on state takeovers

 

President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 7:51 p.m.

Awards and recognitions were postponed until the October meeting so students could attend.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 11:15 AM, 09.23.2019

Tiger Nation signs promote district unity

You’ve seen the signs in yards throughout the neighborhood—Heights Tiger Nation. The slogan with the face of a tiger has popped up on T-shirts, cups and hats. But some people do not have a clue what Tiger Nation means.

Around 2010, CH-UH City School District leaders were looking for a way to encourage district unity. They wanted all CH-UH students, families, staff members, and residents to feel pride in their district. They understood that to feel a connection with others who have shared experiences helps build unity and a sense of belonging.

At about the same time, the words “Tiger Nation” started appearing on district spirit-wear, marketing materials, gift items and exterior signs. Many of the district’s schools encouraged students and staff to wear Tiger Nation gear. The popular yard signs started appearing a few years later, in neighborhoods throughout the community. Thus, the tiger went districtwide; it became everyone’s mascot.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 12:33 PM, 10.02.2019

Fairfax Elementary named IB World School

Fairfax Elementary School has been named an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Primary Years Programme (PYP). It is the fifth school in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District to join the world education program.

“This is such an important accomplishment for Fairfax and for our district as a whole," said CH-UH Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby. "It means we’ve achieved our goal of having five authorized IB schools by 2020.” She said the program "provides our schools with a comprehensive framework for an academic experience that benefits every student."

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 9:01 AM, 09.03.2019

Renovated middle schools open their doors

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is celebrating the reopening of Monticello and Roxboro middle schools with community open houses. Monticello Middle School will be open on Sunday, Sept. 15, and Roxboro Middle School will welcome visitors on Sunday, Sept. 22, both from 1 to 4 p.m.

All families, students, staff, community members and friends are invited to enjoy self-guided tours, musical entertainment provided by students, a resource fair featuring school and community partners, giveaways, and light refreshments. 

The buildings each received an approximately $15-million renovation from 2017 to 2019. During that time, CH-UH students in grades 6–8 attended school at the Wiley Campus in University Heights.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 7:47 AM, 08.27.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 8-6-2019

AUGUST 6, 2019

 

  • Recognitions
  • Board policy approvals
  • Treasurer’s five-year forecast
  • Middle schools facilities update

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 7:50 p.m. 

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 9:35 AM, 08.27.2019

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education meeting 7-2-2019

JULY 2, 2019 

 

  • Public comments
  • Solar panel update
  • Food service agreement
  • Voucher impact
  • School resource officers
  • Cell phone policy
  • Canterbury trees
  • Adding public comment opportunities

 

President Jodi Sourini, Jim Posch, Dan Heintz, Beverly Wright and Malia Lewis were present. Treasurer Scott Gainer was also present.Superintendent Brian Williams was attending an educational trip in Egypt. The meeting began at 7:03p.m. and adjourned at 9 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 1:28 PM, 08.02.2019

Heights High students train as first responders

Two Cleveland Heights High School students, along with a few dozen students from other districts, learned how to fight fires and respond to emergencies at the Cuyahoga County Community College Public Safety Training Center during a two-week program in June. Students learned how to hose down a controlled car fire, conduct a search and rescue operation and respond to a hazmat incident.  

During a hazmat exercise, Mike Sieman, who will be a Heights High sophomore in the fall, played the role of scene commander. Wearing full fire gear, he relayed information to a dispatcher on a radio handset as a hazmat team surrounded a car at the far end of a parking lot. “We have a hazmat team entering the hot zone,” he told the dispatcher.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 1:04 PM, 08.01.2019

New superintendent to meet community this month

On Aug. 1, Elizabeth Kirby takes on her new role as the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District superintendent.

All community residents and district families are invited to attend informal get-to-know-you gatherings with Kirby, beginning Aug. 5:

  • Monday, Aug. 5, 6–7:30 p.m. – A dinner chat with the superintendent at Whole Foods Market, 13998 Cedar Road.
  • Thursday, Aug. 8, 7:30–9 a.m. – A coffee chat at On the Rise Artisan Breads, 3471 Fairmount Blvd.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13, 3–4:30 p.m. – A playdate at Noble Elementary School, 1293 Ardoon Street.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14, 3–4:30 p.m. – A playdate at Boulevard Elementary School, 1749 Lee Road.
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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 11:38 AM, 07.30.2019

Veteran teacher embraces new instructional method

Ask a roomful of teachers the most challenging part of their job and many will mention meeting the needs of every single child, especially when they come to school with wildly different ability levels, background knowledge, learning styles, and life experiences.

Stephanie Petty, fourth-grade teacher at Fairfax Elementary School, has been teaching in CH-UH for more than 20 years. She finally found a method of differentiation that truly works. After attending a break-out session at the district’s professional development day last November, Petty fully embraced the Grid Method, which, according to its website, “is a student-centered, competency-based system, created at the classroom level and designed to fit any teacher’s style, within any curriculum, in any classroom.”

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 10:07 AM, 06.28.2019

Communion of Saints welcomes new teacher

Patricia Sheridan McGinty will join the staff of Communion of Saints School as the new second-grade teacher this coming 2019–20 school year.

She has been working in Catholic education for 11 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, with a specialization in early childhood intervention. She also holds a reading endorsement from Cleveland State University (CSU) and senior professional teaching licenses. She was awarded a Master Teacher designation by the State of Ohio in 2016.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 10:09 AM, 06.28.2019

Gearity is district's second STEM elementary school

Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District became the first district in Northeast Ohio with two STEM-designated elementary schools after Gearity Professional Development School was selected to join the Ohio STEM Learning Network in late April. Gearity had been STEM-focused for years before receiving the official designation. Boulevard Elementary School earned the designation in 2018.

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education provides students with a deep understanding of STEM subjects while incorporating inquiry-based learning and design thinking in all subjects.

“Congratulations to Gearity on earning this important designation,” said CH-UH Interim Superintendent Brian Williams.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 1:14 PM, 06.10.2019

Roxboro Elementary installs unique vending machine

Many schools across the country have been phasing out vending machines in the interest of student health. But Roxboro Elementary School has just installed one.

This is no ordinary vending machine, however. Instead of soft drinks and chips, it is stocked with books. 

D&S Vending, located in downtown Cleveland, refurbishes old vending machines for unique purposes. The Roxboro PTA paid for the custom machine and an initial set of books to fill it, taking advantage of the discount earned as a result of using Mac’s Backs - Books on Coventry for the school’s book fair. The PTA also received a  grant of $600 from Reading Is Fundamental, a nonprofit organization that promotes children’s literacy, to purchase additional books.

“We’ll eventually accept used and donated books,” said Mary Pat Jolivett, a PTA member “But we wanted to start with nice spanking-new books.”

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.03.2019

Heights Middle School team competes nationally

Could you name the biological domain composed of all cells that have membrane-bound organelles, in less than two seconds, without using Google? (Keep reading for the answer.) The Heights Middle School Academic Team can.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, they competed at the National Championship Tournament in Chicago, tying for 49th place among 176 teams from across the nation. 

The Heights team, comprising seven students from Monticello and six from Roxboro middle schools, qualified for the tournament after strong showings locally, including two first-place finishes in 20-team competitions. Eleven of the 13 team members made the trip to the national tournament.

The tournament matches teams of four players who answer up to 24 “toss-up" questions on a variety of topics, including science, history, literature, current events and math.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.03.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 5-7-2019

MAY 7, 2019

 

  • Recognition of Academic Challenge teams and teachers
  • Superintendent’s Student Cadre update
  • Rejoining the Ohio Athletic Association
  • Board approvals
  • Building repairs and facilities renovation update
  • Reinstitution of local school board presidents’ meetings

 

President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also present were Acting Superintendent Brian Williams and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:10 p.m. after an executive session and reception for tenured teachers and was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. 

Recognition of Academic Challenge teams and teachers

Superintendent Williams recognized the high school and middle school Academic Challenge teams.

Seven teachers were recognized for receiving tenure.

Superintendent’s Student Cadre update

Members of the superintendent’s 2018-2019 Student Cadre reported on their activities with a video presentation. The Student Cadre provides their insight on what it is like to be a student at Heights High and how to implement positive change and improvements in the district.

Rejoining the Ohio Athletic Association

Williams reported that the district had rejoined the Ohio Athletic Association.

Board approvals

The board unanimously approved donations exceeding a total of $10,000.

The board unanimously voted to adopt policy group B after the third reading.

Building repairs and facilities renovation update

Roof repairs: The board approved bids to repair the Nobel and Fairfax school roofs; the cost will be paid from the permanent improvement fund.

Middle school facilities renovations: The discussion focused on the science rooms. There will be two science rooms for each grade at both buildings. At the time of this meeting, the change orders are within the budget.

Reinstitution of local school board presidents’ meetings

President Sourini attended a meeting for the local school board presidents. This group is working to establish regular meetings after a hiatus of some years.

LWV Observer: Adele Cohn.

To receive email postings of full reports, send an email to heights@lwvgreatercleveland.org 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.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 10:44 AM, 05.22.2019

Cleveland Heights- University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 4-16-2019

APRIL 16, 2019

 

  • Introduction of the NWEA MAP program

 

President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Vice President James Posch was absent. Interim Superintendent Dr. Brian A. Williams and Director of Data and Assessment Allison Byrd were also present. The meeting began at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

 

 

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 10:40 AM, 05.22.2019

Annual RoxEl Run benefit set for May 18

The annual RoxEl Run, one of Roxboro Elementary School’s most popular fundraisers and community events, will take place this year on Saturday, May 18, at 9 a.m. Now in its seventh year, the PTA-organized event, with the tagline “Run Like It’s Recess,” promotes physical fitness as a fun and social pursuit.

Race co-chairs Gillian Grim and Clare Taft emphasize that the RoxEl Run is an event for everyone. "In our seventh year, the RoxEl Run is so much more than just a fundraiser for our PTA," said Taft. "The run is a chance to engage families, the business community, the district and the Roxboro neighborhood, while having fun and celebrating our students."

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 12:50 PM, 05.01.2019

Heights High team wins televised Academic Challenge

Cleveland Heights High School junior Rohan Bruce has “always really liked reading," and commented, "I retain a lot of (seemingly) useless information"—a skill she puts to use as captain of the high school’s Academic Challenge team.

Bruce and teammates Maple Buescher and Leo Kenealy competed against St. Ignatius and North Ridgeville high schools on the Academic Challenge program on March 23 on WEWS-TV (Channel 5/ABC). Their Heights High team won, scoring 505 points to St. Ignatius’ 485. North Ridgeville came in third with 380. 

Academic Challenge is a quiz show for high school students, testing their knowledge of topics ranging from literature and history to physics and geography. A fledgling club was started at the middle school level a few years ago, which is where sophomores Buescher and Kenealy got their start.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:56 AM, 04.30.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 4-2-2019

APRIL 2, 2019

 

  • Student recognitions
  • Union negotiations
  • Middle Schools renovations
  • State school funding proposal
  • Task force reports
  • Reaching Heights Spelling Bee
  • National equity symposium

 

Members present were Jodi Sourini, James Posch, Dan Heintz, Beverly Wright and Malia Lewis. Also present were Acting Superintendent Brian Williams and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:10 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 9:36 AM, 05.02.2019

Annual alumni pancake breakfast is April 7

On Sunday, April 7, the community is invited to partake of an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, benefiting opportunity grants for every school in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

The Heights Schools Foundation (HSF) will host its annual pancake breakfast at Heights High, from 9 a.m. until noon. The menu will include gluten-free options and a fresh-fruit-toppings bar.

HSF will offer maps for self-guided tours of the school, and there will be a Heights Tiger gear pop-up shop. There will also be an auction, with options at every price level and for every interest, including Heinen’s and Zagara’s gift certificates, and a tour and tasting for 10 people at Mitchell’s Ice Cream’s Ohio City facility.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.03.2019

Cleveland Heights- University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 3-19-2019

MARCH 19, 2019

 

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Middle school renovations
  • Board president’s report
  • Time to Teach, Time to Learn board resolution
  • Heights High swimming pool

 

President Jodi Sourini, Vice President James Posch, Dan Heintz, and Malia Lewis were present. Beverly Wright was absent. Interim Superintendent Dr. Brian A. Williams and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:03 p.m. and adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 11:38 AM, 04.15.2019

CHHS soloist to perform Barber concerto in season finale concert

Graduating senior Maria Tarnay will perform with the Heights High Symphony, under the direction of Daniel Heim, in the CHHS Instrumental Music Department's (IMD) Season Finale Concert, on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. Tarnay will perform the first two movements of Samuel Barber's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, opus 14 (Allegro and Andante).

Tarnay began studying music when she was 3 years old, her interest sparked by the talents of her older brothers, who played clarinet and trumpet. Tarnay began taking private violin lessons at an early age, studying with Hannah Fry for about a year before switching to Emily Cornelius, with whom she has studied ever since.

Tarnay has performed on the violin with the Heights High Symphony for four years, achieving Principal Second in her freshman year and serving as Concertmaster her junior and senior years.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 1:30 PM, 04.01.2019

CH-UH district loses 34 percent of state money to vouchers in 2019

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District estimates that, by 2025, it will be losing about $13.5 million a year in state money to school vouchers. This year, vouchers received more than $7.3 million in state funding, 34 percent of the district's allocation.

Speakers at the March 14 League of Women Voters (LWV) forum on the local effects of Ohio’s school voucher programs had a consistent message: vouchers are draining state money from public schools based on an unfair testing system and laws increasing voucher eligibility.

Most of the audience of about 45 people at the Lee Road Library listened politely and applauded at times. All questions were submitted in writing. There were no pro-voucher panelists.

Panelist Susie Kaeser, who researched the issue as a LWV Education Lobby Corps member and co-convener of the Heights Coalition on Public Education, explained the four voucher programs under state law.

Vouchers allow public funds to be transferred to existing private and parochial schools. Vouchers cannot be used to attend charter schools because charters are free to students. However, the state deducts money from a district’s allocation for each student attending a charter school.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 9:38 AM, 03.26.2019

Baseball boosters seek vendors for art and small-business fair

The Cleveland Heights High School Baseball Boosters will host the Home Run Market, a pop-up art and small-business fair on Saturday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fair will take place in the natural-light-filled cafeteria of the beautifully renovated Heights High building, and will feature sales of fine art, photography, jewelry, clothing, baked goods, cosmetics, and other specialty items. Held the day before Mother’s Day, it’s a perfect opportunity to buy gifts for that special someone.

Artists and small-business owners are welcome to sign up as vendors.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 10:34 AM, 04.02.2019

Heights Co-op Preschool hosts April 24 open house

Heights Cooperative Preschool, currently enrolling students for the 2019–20 school year, will host a two-part open house on April 24, 9:30–10:30 a.m. and 6–7 p.m.

In the morning, room parents will lead tours, and in the evening, teachers will answer questions and show visitors around the school.

Because of family involvement, Heights Co-op is able to charge lower tuition than many other schools. Children participate in play-based learning that includes activities such as weekly yoga, daily reading, and enrichment classes. The school offers parents the opportunity to be invested and involved in their young child's education.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:37 PM, 04.01.2019

Meet Heights High AFS foreign exchange students

For more than 60 years, Cleveland Heights High School and Heights families have hosted AFS foreign exchange students. Each year, the students come from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, and they bring with them a global perspective that they share with their host families and classmates, as well as the community.

Each month, two to three AFS students from the Cleveland East area, which includes Heights High, make presentations at Church of the Saviour (2537 Lee Road). Interested community members are invited to learn about AFS, and meet the students, their host families, and AFS volunteers.

Upcoming monthly presentations are scheduled for April 2 and May 7, 7–8:30 p.m.

Families who may be interested in hosting a student for the 2019–20 school year, or applying to send a student abroad for a summer, semester, or school year, can contact Carla Bailey at seabail45@gmail.com, or visit www.afsusa.org.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:36 PM, 04.01.2019

MetroHealth to open clinic at Heights High

Cleveland Heights High School students will have access to primary health care in school beginning this fall at a clinic staffed by MetroHealth professionals two days per month. The pilot program was designed to help eliminate barriers to health care.

With parent/guardian consent, students can receive routine checkups, immunizations, sports physicals and screenings. The clinic will provide referrals for additional services including behavioral health. The pilot also includes an assessment of students' medical, mental health, wellness, and health literacy needs. The data will help researchers find ways to make it easier for students to access resources at community health centers and improve health care programs.

[Elementary schools in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District have an in-school health care program unrelated to the MetroHealth pilot. For the past two years, a Cleveland Clinic Mobile Health Unit has been visiting the same two schools every week.  As Krissy Dietrich Gallagher reported in a Heights Observer article last month (“CH-UH student receive healthcare at school”), the mobile unit will add two more schools to its route each week beginning this spring. Any CH-UH parents can bring their student to the mobile unit for care.]

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.01.2019

Seventh-graders beat out professionals in design and build challenge

When four Heights Middle School students, Arthur Schmiedl, Caleb Green, Marcus Holland and Ruby Tugeau, signed up to compete in the Feb. 9 Design & Build Challenge at Great Lakes Science Center, they and their Project Lead The Way (PLTW) teachers, Amy Statler and Dianna Neal, had no idea what to expect.

As it turned out, the seventh-graders found themselves competing against 18 youth teams from area middle and high schools, and another dozen corporate teams made up of professionals and college students.

And, it turned out that the Heights team earned first place—in both the youth category and overall—beating out teams from Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams and Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:07 PM, 04.01.2019