Music Settlement early education receives five-star award

The Music Settlement of University Circle, which offers programs that attract many Heights families, announced in a news release that its preschool, day school and kindergarten have been awarded a five-star rating from the state of Ohio "for meeting the quality standard established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education.”  The “5-Star” rating is the highest possible.

The Music Settlement is the first program in Cleveland to receive a five-star award from the state’s "Step Up To Quality" rating and improvement system, and is one of five programs in Cuyahoga County to reach this level.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:18 AM, 11.13.2014

CHHS students to greet UH voters with free hot chocolate on Nov. 4

While there is not a school levy on the ballot this November, several students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District plan on using their day off to promote civic-mindedness and clear up some misperceptions about Heights High. On Election Day, the students plan on greeting University Heights voters with a handshake and free hot chocolate as they go to vote.  

A Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) Student Union has formed to help give students a voice and to advocate for student concerns. Their current focus is addressing concerns within the University Heights Planning Commission regarding the planned relocation of Heights High students to the Wiley campus in August 2015, while the high school is under construction for two years.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:05 AM, 11.03.2014

Heights students and staff tour urban farm

Some Heights students extended their school day on Tuesday, Oct. 28, with a field trip to an urban farm in Cleveland. Rid-All Green Partnership, nestled in the Kinsman Neighborhood, is on the site of what was once a dumping ground, but now is full of life.

Joe Mendes, Gearity Professional Development School teacher, and Steve Warner, Heights High teacher and environmental Club advisor, organized the trip, and were joined by elementary and high school students, district staff, principals, teachers, parents and members of the Sustainability Working Group, who are iworking in partnership with the district to include sustainable measures in the renovation of the high school.

Hunter Scott, a Heights High junior, helped the Rid-All staff conduct the tour.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 11.03.2014

Crain's Cleveland names CH-UH district's Gainer a 2014 CFO of the Year award winner

Scott Gainer, chief financial officer and treasurer of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, has been named a Crain’s Cleveland Business 2014 CFO of the Year. Gainer received the award in the government category at Crain’s award ceremony at the Cleveland Convention Center on Oct. 23.

Crain’s Cleveland CFO of the Year awards are dedicated to recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of CFOs in Northeast Ohio. The award is the only one of its kind in the region.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:58 AM, 11.03.2014

Four Beaumont students recognized by National Merit Scholarship program

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recognized four Beaumont School seniors for their academic success on Sept. 22. Ana Maria Vargas was named a National Merit semifinalist, and Catherine Aumiller, Christina Kerner and Julie Schiffer were all named commended students.

Ana Maria Vargas and Catherine Aumiller are residents of Shaker Heights; Christina Kerner lives in neighboring University Heights; and Julie Schiffer is a resident of Aurora.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:57 AM, 11.03.2014

Two separate Oct. 14 meetings will explore future of Heights High

Representatives from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will participate in two overlapping meetings tonight, Oct. 14.

From 6–8 p.m., the district will hold a community forum in the Cleveland Heights High School Social Room, to discuss the need for academic program changes at the high school.

A meeting of the University Heights Planning Commission is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The primary item on that agenda is the school district’s plan to temporarily relocate the high school to the Wiley Middle School building. The meeting will be held in the Dolan Science Center auditorium at John Carroll University, at 1 John Carroll Blvd.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:47 AM, 10.14.2014

Heights High's IMD concert season opens Nov. 21

Maya Fields will be the featured soloist when Cleveland Heights High School's Instrumental Music Department (IMD) opens its 2014–15 season on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m., in the school's Dina Rees Evans Performing Arts Center, 13263 Cedar Road. Tickets, which will be available the day of the show, are $3 for students and $5 for adults.

The Heights High Concert Orchestra opens the program, followed by Symphonic Winds and Heights High Symphony. In addition, chamber groups will perform from 6:30 to 7 p.m. in the school's Social Room, and jazz ensembles will perform at the post-concert reception.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:42 AM, 10.31.2014

Heights Coalition for Public Education sponsors community forums

The Heights Coalition for Public Education will sponsor a free community forum on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Social Room at Cleveland Heights High School. The public is invited to join the conversation about current state and federal education policy that emphasizes testing and the privatization of public education.

The forum—titled The Myth of Failing Public Schools—will feature Rob Weil, national director of field programs for the American Federation of Teachers. Weil’s presentation will cover the history of the current test-and-punish culture, and take a closer look at misleading international comparisons based on test scores. Small group conversations will follow his presentation.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:25 PM, 10.30.2014

New grant to support Holocaust education at Heights High

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation received a $5,000 annual renewable grant for Holocaust education at Cleveland Heights High School from the George F., Stephanie M. and George L. Traub Fund of The Cleveland Jewish Federation.

Stephen Hoffman, president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, presented the grant to Lessons of the Holocaust teacher Mark Sack at a ceremony on Sept. 29 at the federation.

The funds will be used for field trips and guest speakers, and also to support two local scholarships for Lessons of the Holocaust students. 

The scholarships will honor two women who have been instrumental in Holocaust education at Heights High for many years.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:22 PM, 10.30.2014

All-district production of 'Guys and Dolls' features students of all ages

More than 550 CH-UH City School District students will play a part in the eighth annual all-district musical, a production of “Guys and Dolls,” Nov. 6–8, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 9, 4 p.m. Performances will take place in the Heights High Auditorium. Call 216-320-3015 for ticket information or visit the Heights High Web page, Ticket prices are $6 (orchestra and balcony) and $10 (dress circle and mezzanine).

More than 550 students will perform in two casts, and participants include 250 high school singers, dancers, and pit orchestra and stage crew members; 100 middle school singers and dancers; and 215 elementary school chorus members.

Craig McGaughey, the show’s director and Heights High’s vocal music director, selected “Guys and Dolls” for this year’s show because this year’s group of students is strong in both singing and dancing. “This show is a great way to use our amazing lyric sopranos, tenors and baritones,” he said, “and our dance talent is just phenomenal!”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:49 AM, 10.28.2014

Heights High celebrates homecoming Oct. 24

Tiger Nation’s 2014 Homecoming is set for Friday, Oct. 24, and festivities include community celebrations, a parade, a football game, and crowning of the homecoming king and queen.

Homecoming activities begin at 4:30 p.m. with a student council-sponsored pre-parade celebration in the Delisle Center parking lot, 14780 Superior Ave. Snacks, beverages and Tiger Nation accessories—think black and gold pom-poms!—will be for sale.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Delisle Center parking lot, and then proceed down Washington Boulevard to Cleveland Heights High School, where a family-friendly tailgate will take place. The tailgate will feature an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, and arts and crafts, and the Tiger mascot will be on hand to pose for photos. Concessions will be open and Tiger Nation gear will be available for purchase.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.21.2014

Heights announces National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Cleveland Heights High School seniors Thomas Pharis, Abraham Mendes and Isaiah Pressman are semifinalists in the first round of the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 1.4 million students nationally take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as juniors, and the 50,000 with the highest scores can qualify as semifinalists. The semifinalists are eligible to apply to become finalists, a designation that includes scholarship opportunities.

Mendes is a committed musician and writer. He is sergeant of the Marching Band trombone section, first chair trombone in the Jazz Ensemble, and plays in the Brass Quartet and Symphonic Winds. He also recently helped start a board game club. Mendes plans to attend a liberal arts college to study creative writing, as he is interested in storytelling and hopes to write for TV someday. His top college choices are Bennington College in Vermont, Carlton College in Minnesota and Reed College in Oregon.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:49 AM, 10.21.2014

CH-UH CFO named finalist for Crain's 2014 CFO of the Year award

Crain’s Cleveland Business recently recognized the outstanding work of Scott Gainer, Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District chief financial officer and treasurer, by naming him a 2014 Finalist for the CFO of the Year award. Crain’s CFO of the Year award is dedicated to recognizing the contributions and accomplishments specific to CFOs in Northeast Ohio. The award is the only one of its type in the region and is recognized as a true distinction for the area's fiscal officers.

“Every day we witness Scott’s experience, vision and leadership.” said Talisa Dixon, superintendent. “The continued validation of Scott’s effort and hard work by outside organizations is immensely rewarding to see. I am incredibly proud to have him as a member of our team. He is a true asset to this community.”

As reported on, Kal Zucker, who is nearing the end of his third term on the district's board of education, said he has worked closely with Gainer “in some capacity for at least 15 years.” During that time, what has stood out most to Zucker is Gainer's calming influence.


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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.21.2014

CH-UH principals participate in education policy and leadership program

Andrett Calloway, Fairfax Elementary School principal, and Erica Wigton, Canterbury Elementary School principal, recently enrolled in the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). This 10-month professional development program is designed to cultivate strategic, visionary leaders who have the capacity to create and implement public policy to improve the educational outcomes of children and young people.

“I am proud to see two of our principals taking the initiative to better their ability to serve our students,” Talisa L. Dixon, superintendent.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.21.2014

CH-UH district partners with refugee agencies to ease transition for students and families

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is a member of the Refugee Services Collaborative (RSC) of Greater Cleveland. RSC helps families from other countries transition to life in Northeast Ohio. The district will be working with Global Cleveland, one of the collaborative’s partner agencies, to help families who are moving to the Heights.

On Oct. 18, Global Cleveland will open a Welcome Hub at the Noble Neighborhood Library, 2800 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights. The hub will be a place where families can obtain life skills information, to help ease their transition to life here in the Heights.

Kathleen Scully, English Language Learners (ELL) coordinator at Heights High, said that this partnership will help support teachers in the classroom.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:37 AM, 10.14.2014

Transforming Heights High inside and out

While work is progressing rapidly on plans to renovate Cleveland Heights High School, plenty of attention is also being paid to consistently improving the school’s academic programming. On Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6–8 p.m., the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will hold a community forum in the Heights High Social Room, to discuss the need for academic program changes.

Currently, the school has three small schools in addition to Career Tech and Early College programs. The district wants to hear from parents, students and staff members about what’s working and what can be enhanced within the high school structure

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:21 AM, 10.07.2014

Superintendent Dixon holds coffee klatches with local groups

Talisa Dixon, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District superintendent, welcomed representatives from Link4Schools as well as parent ambassadors for each of the district’s schools at a coffee klatch held on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Board of Education building. 

Link4Schools is a Cleveland-based learning organization formed by a committed group of educators. They partner with schools by engaging the entire school community in meaningful activities to bring about deep learning and positive outcomes for students.

The district’s parent ambassadors are a resource for district parents, providing information and support. They also serve as a link among parents, schools and the district, and represent the parents' perspective.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:06 AM, 09.26.2014

Beaumont is IB candidate

Beaumont School, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cleveland Heights, is now recognized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school. Beaumont plans to institute the IB program during its 2017–18 school year, and will become the first all-girls school, and the second Catholic high school, in Greater Cleveland to offer IB’s rigorous Diploma Programme (DP).

IB education challenges students to excel in academics and in personal growth, and cultivates a quest for lifelong learning that goes beyond what students learn in the classroom. IB’s diploma program is widely perceived as one of the most challenging secondary curricula in the world. Students who earn the IB diploma are consistently twice as likely to be accepted to selective colleges and universities, earn more scholarship dollars and receive college credit.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.30.2014

CH-UH district launches new website

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District launched a redesigned and improved website on Sept. 6. New features of the website,, include improved navigation, school photo rotations, a cleaner homepage, better search engine and a new "Tiger Praise" page.

“The Tiger Praise page will allow site visitors to celebrate the district’s culture and people by allowing for public praise of teachers, staff, students, schools and school volunteers,” stated Angee Shaker, director of communications.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 12:01 PM, 09.30.2014

CH-UH district steps up recycling efforts

At the Heights High football season home opener on Sept. 13, volunteers were stationed near new recycling and trash bins, encouraging attendees to recycle and reduce the amount of litter around the field.

The initiative is one of two ideas promoted by the Sustainability Working Group (SWG), a group of sustainability-focused residents that was formed during the district’s school facilities planning process, which the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is now implementing. In addition to a more comprehensive recycling program, the group also recommended that the district engage in a solid waste audit, a free service provided by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

According to Kristin Hughes, athletic director, the athletic department is partnering with SWG and the Heights High Environmental Club to educate fans and encourage recycling efforts at all games and contests. Dubbed the Tiger Nation Game Day Recycling Challenge, the initiative includes placing recycling bins throughout the new stadium and inside the lobby of the South Gym, stationing volunteers near the bins to help fans dispose of waste and recyclables appropriately, and public address announcements at all sporting events.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:52 AM, 09.23.2014

Heights High dedicates new stadium

A sellout crowd filled the new and expanded stands for Heights High’s first home football game of the season, on Sept. 13. The game, against Glenville, marked the official opening of the new Heights High athletic stadium, featuring all-weather turf.

The enthusiastic crowd saw the Tigers fall to Glenville, 12-19. Standouts among the Heights team members were offensive running back Jevon Avery, with 85 yards and a touchdown, James Crowder, who had 50 receiving yards, and running back Marquise Watkins, who added 59 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Before the game, students, families, alumni, residents and youth athletes attended the district’s tailgate celebration, opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.

Kristin Hughes, athletic director, began the ceremony with a big thank-you to Cleveland Heights and University Heights citizens, for making the new facility a reality.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.16.2014

School district receives three national communications awards

In June, the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) recognized the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for excellence in communications. The district received the highest Award of Excellence for its website, an Award of Merit for its Update print newsletter, and an Honorable Mention for its weekly electronic newsletter. At its Sept. 2 meeting, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) recognized the communications team for its achievement.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my communications team. We are extremely grateful for this recognition,” stated Angee Shaker, director of communications. “The tools we use to communicate are evolving and the amount of information we need to communicate continues to increase while our budget continues to tighten. The demand on the department is high but we do our best to not only keep up, but lead with the latest communication tools, populate them and train and empower our school teams to do the same.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:41 AM, 09.10.2014

Heights High design phase planning meetings to wrap up in September

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District considers September to be a critical period in the design phase of planning for the renovated Cleveland Heights High School, and two public meetings are scheduled this month, on Sept. 16 and Sept. 30. Both meetings will take place at 7 p.m. at the Delisle Center, 14780 Superior Road.

"The community is encouraged to show up, see the latest plans and share your enthusiasm, concerns and questions during the public comment portions of the meetings," stated Ron Register, school board president.

BSHM Architects are currently revising the floor plan that was presented at the Aug. 19 special meeting to align with the budget. “Right now, we have more square footage in the plan than the budget is allowing,” said Gary Balog, lead architect from BSHM.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:13 AM, 09.02.2014

Beaumont School students participate in Project YESS

Four girls from Beaumont School were among the 14 students who sailed on a tall ship for a weeklong voyage at the end of July.

They left on July 27 from Milwaukee, Wis., on the S/V Denis Sullivan and returned on Aug. 2.  

Since 2010, when the program began, Beaumont has had students on board. Another Beaumont student was among the three ambassador leaders.

The program is called Project YESS, Youth Empowered to Succeed Through Sailing. Its goals are for students to develop leadership, confidence and courage as crew on a tall ship. Project YESS was developed by the Rotary Club of Cleveland and funded by the Cleveland Rotary Foundation and other corporate, individual and foundation supporters. The project helps students, ages 14–17, by providing direction, developing community, and opening their eyes to career opportunities in the Great Lakes region.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.29.2014

Heights administrative principal brings broad experience to role

In early August, Zoraba Q Ross became the new administrative principal at Heights High. His experience as a Columbus-area high school principal and athletic director, administrator in the city’s recreation department and assistant director for the King Arts Complex during its $1.6 million renovation project gives him a unique set of skills to lead the school.

His varied background sets the tone for his approach to and view of education. “There are three key components to all great schools—academics, arts and athletics,” Ross said. “I am thrilled to be in a school with strong programs in all three.”

Ross acknowledges his sense of urgency about improving the overall academic performance of the school. “There are many students doing quite well here, but we have far too many who are underperforming. We must address that and help those students re-engage in school and succeed,” said Ross.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 08.29.2014

District unveils proposed design for new CHHS exterior

On Aug. 19, architects hired by the Cleveland-Heights University Heights City School District unveiled their proposed new design for the exterior of Cleveland Heights High School.

The design calls for the removal of the 1959 science wing addition, to reveal the historic façade on the school’s Cedar Road side, which has been hidden from view for decades, and the construction of two new wings on the east and west sides of the building’s historic core.

As proposed by the architectural firm Balog, Steines, Hendricks & Manchester, the new additions are designed to complement, and will not block, the original façade, which will be restored.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:08 AM, 08.26.2014

Millikin building sold to Mosdos Ohr Hatorah

After years of negotiations and discussions, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has agreed to sell most of the former Millikin Elementary School property to local private K–8 school Mosdos Ohr Hatorah.

The sale was approved by the Board of Education at its Aug. 19 work session. The board agreed to sell the Millikin building to Mosdos for $650,000. The sale does not include the adjacent stables property, which the district will retain. 

The sales agreement is subject to several contingencies:

  • The District must obtain an easement from the stable property to Severance Circle. 
  • The District must identify or obtain alternative space for its tradespeople who currently work out of the Millikin facility. 
  • Mosdos must obtain a conditional use permit from the City of Cleveland Heights to use the property as a nonpublic school.
  • Mosdos must obtain financing on satisfactory terms from the City of Cleveland Heights.
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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 12:03 PM, 08.20.2014

Second public meeting on CHHS facilities project set for Aug. 19

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District will hold the second of three planned public meetings regarding the schematic design phase of its Heights High facilities project. The meeting will start at 7 p.m., and take place at the Delisle Center, 14780 Superior Road. The third meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16, and will take place at the same time and location.

This series of public meetings is intended to provide an opportunity for members of the Heights community to see proposed plans and ask questions. Those who would like to address the board should sign up at the beginning of the meeting.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 12:53 PM, 08.19.2014

New athletic stadium debuts Sept. 13 with ceremony before football season-opener

The newly constructed Cleveland Heights High School stadium will be officially opened to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration just prior to the first home football game of this season, on Saturday, Sept. 13.

“We are so excited to present this brand-new stadium to the community,” said Talisa L. Dixon, CH-UH superintendent. “Our residents approved Phase 1 of our Master Facilities Plan in 2013, and while a great deal of work is taking place within our school buildings, the new stadium and field may be the first visible change that some residents have seen. We’re thrilled that this first visible project has turned out so well, and this community will see an immediate benefit from it.”

The ceremony and celebration will begin at 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 with the opening of the Tiger Tailgate Area, where food trucks, concessions and face-painting will be open for business.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 11:17 AM, 08.19.2014

Micheller leaves school district after 17 years; replacement named

Joseph Micheller, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s director of curriculum and instruction, will leave the district at the end of July, to become executive director of new school development for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Sandy Womack will replace Micheller. 

Micheller has been with the district for 17 years. Prior to taking on the responsibilities of curriculum and instruction, Micheller held the positions of director of educational services, interim assistant superintendent, and director of special programming and compliance.    

“Dr. Micheller managed to be both the district historian and futurist. His contributions to this district have been enormous and the initiatives he put into place will continue to have a terrific impact on our students for decades to come. We will miss him very much,” said recently retired former superintendent Nylajean R. McDaniel.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:42 AM, 07.29.2014

Heights High program helps student athletes prepare for college

In the basement of Cleveland Heights High School, Peter Eckendorf—a 2003 Heights alumnus who could still pass for a student—is leading a program that raises standards for the school’s nearly 500 student athletes. Under the direction of Athletic Director Kristin Hughes, Eckendorf manages the Learning Center, which helps the coaches of varsity sports programs by tracking the grades of players and providing skilled tutoring to help them maintain academic eligibility. The coming school year will be the center's third.

“We want to make a smooth transition for our kids from high school to college,” said Eckendorf. For a number of Heights students, athletics opens the door to college in the first place. “If you play in college, you have to go to study tables and you have to be accountable for the academic work you do.” The Learning Center is modeled after college programs and is the first high school program of its kind, to Hughes' knowledge, and it provides four main services.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 2:10 PM, 07.31.2014

CH-UH transportation supervisor recognized by Ohio Schools Council

The CH-UH City School District’s transportation department saves thousands of dollars annually on its 42 buses, thanks to a cooperative effort with other districts in the Ohio Schools Council (OSC), where Scott Smith, transportation supervisor, serves in a key role.

OSC is a consortium of school districts that work cooperatively for the specific purpose of saving dollars through volume purchases.

As co-chair of OSC’s bus purchasing committee, Smith brings the mechanical knowledge of having worked on the buses—prior to becoming supervisor—which helps other districts make sound decisions about purchases.

Smith received a Certificate of Appreciation Award for his service in three categories in May: the school bus purchasing committee, the fuel committee and the cooperative school bus purchasing program.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 12:01 PM, 07.31.2014

Milestones to offer autism training at Canterbury

Milestones Autism Resources will host Milestones School Team Training on Aug.4-8, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Canterbury Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. While all districts are encouraged to attend, first-ring-suburb school personnel can register at a deeply discounted rate, thanks to a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation presented to Milestones.

Founded in 2003, Milestones Autism Resources helps individuals with autism throughout Northeast Ohio reach their unique potential and is the first call for help at each transition of an individual’s life. Milestones focuses on educating and coaching family members and professionals in evidence-based practical strategies. Its conferences, workshops, professional development, referral calls and online resources connect the autism community with vital information, and each other.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 4:08 PM, 07.16.2014

Gearity receives Straight A grant

Gearity Professional Development School earned a Straight A grant award for $484,608 from the Ohio Department of Education, pending state controlling board final approval on July 28. Gearity’s project, DigiLit (Digital Literacy), will transform the look and feel of the elementary school classroom to engage students and significantly improve student achievement.

“This will be an exciting opportunity for the Gearity staff to teach in a new and innovative way to motivate students while learning,” reported Kristen Abdow, lead literacy teacher.

John Carroll University’s (JCU) Department of Education and School Psychology is a key partner in this innovative project. The team lead is Kathleen Roskos, Ph.D., who conducts reading research and is widely published on literacy development and reading education topics.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 10:55 AM, 07.12.2014

District announces new principal for Gearity Professional Development School

With the input and participation of staff and parents, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has announced that Katrina Hicks will be the new principal of Gearity Professional Development School. Hicks takes over from the previous principal, Michele Evans, who accepted a position with the Wadsworth City School District. 

Hicks has worked in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) since 1993. She began as a classroom teacher and later served as a program manager at the Emile DeSauze Enrichment Center. She subsequently worked as an assistant principal and then principal with CMSD. Most recently, as principal of H. Barbara Booker Elementary School, she increased the school’s performance index from 66.1 to 74.0 over a two-year period.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:29 AM, 07.10.2014

New administrative principal named for Cleveland Heights High School

The Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District has announced Zoraba Q Ross is the new administrative principal of Cleveland Heights High School. Johnetta Wiley, the former administrative principal, now serves as the district’s Director of Special Programs & Compliance.

Ross has worked in the South-Western City School District as assistant principal and athletic director at Central Crossing High School. In this role, Ross assisted the principal in supervision and evaluation of all personnel, and he was also responsible for management of the athletic department. Prior to joining South-Western, Ross served as a principal and assistant principal in the Groveport Madison Local Schools. Ross holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a master’s in education from Ashland University.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:20 AM, 07.10.2014

District outlines next steps in CHHS project

[Editor’s Note: Angee Shaker, director of communications for the CH-UH City School District, provided the following update on the Heights High project. Three upcoming public meetings, where community members will have a chance to see plans and ask questions, are scheduled for July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16. At the Sept. 16 meeting, the final design will be presented and construction managers will present a cost estimate.]

The high school project has now moved into the Schematic Design Phase which includes floor and site plans, the exterior design concept and cost estimates.

The Board of Education (BOE) approved the Program of Requirements (POR) at the June 17 board work session. The POR is a document that lists the spaces and sizes of spaces required to be included in the building as well as notes and other information necessary to begin the design of the floor plans such as how the spaces should relate to each other. The square footage allocations are subject to change as the plans are finalized.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:58 AM, 07.01.2014

Free summer meals for kids

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is participating in the Ohio Department of Education’s Seamless Summer Feeding Program. Through Aug. 13, free breakfast and lunch is available for any child 18 or younger, at the following locations and times:

Boulevard Elementary School, 1749 Lee Road: 8:30–9:30 a.m., and 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cleveland Heights High School, 13263 Cedar Road: 7:30–9 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cleveland Heights Recreation Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.: 8:40–9:10 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 12:05 PM, 07.01.2014

Beaumont teams place in national robotics competition

Beaumont School teams were once again successful in the National Robotics League Robobot competition, held the weekend of May 17 at Baldwin Wallace University. Finishing in the top ten overall, the two Beaumont teams brought home top awards for best documentation, presentation, and engineering. Beaumont’s were the only two all-girls teams that competed. 

Beginning last fall, the two teams spent their Saturdays building and perfecting their robobots with their sponsors. The Beamontsters team, and its bot “Alexander the Great,” was sponsored by Christopher Tool in Solon. The Dark Horse team, and its bot “Thunderbolt,” was sponsored by Tendon Manufacturing Company in Cleveland.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 6:09 PM, 06.23.2014

Welcome reception June 19 for new school superintendent Dixon

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites the community to a welcome reception for Talisa Dixon, the district’s new superintendent, on June 19, 6–8 p.m., in the Heights High Social Room at 13263 Cedar Road.

The reception is an opportunity for some to meet Dixon for the first time, and for others to welcome her as the new superintendent rather than as a superintendent candidate.

“It meant a lot to this board that so many people were actively involved in the search and interview process for a new superintendent. Even though the board made the final decision, Dr. Dixon was the community’s choice,” stated Ron Register, CH-UH Board of Education president. The board voted unanimously (5-0) to appoint Dixon superintendent.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:41 AM, 06.16.2014

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education 6-3-2014

JUNE 3, 2014

  • Recognitions
  • Retirees
  • Ohio Constitutional changes
  • Courses
  • Race to the Top
  • Civic Leadership Institute
  • Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN)
  • Leadership Program for Athletes
  • Superintendent
  • Heights High Enabling Project
  • St. Clare School
  • Program requirements
  • Facilities Accountability Committee vacancy

All board members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 5:25 PM, 06.16.2014

Gearity principal resigns; search for new principal is underway

Michele Evans, principal of Gearity Professional Development School, announced that she will be leaving the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and accepting a position with the Wadsworth City School District. 

Nylajean McDaniel, CH-UH superintendent, said, “Dr. Evans has been a strong and steady leader for the Gearity Professional Development School community and she will be missed. We wish her all the best in her new position, and we thank her for her hard work and success.” 

“Saying goodbye to my students, staff and families has been very hard; I’ve been fortunate to work with such great people. I wish the Gearity family all the best and will do everything I can to help the new principal, once selected, transition into Gearity,” stated Evans.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:23 AM, 06.09.2014

CH-UH school district receives financial reporting award

For the 13th consecutive year, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District received the Association of School Business Officials International’s (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence (COE) in Financial Reporting award for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability.     

Scott Gainer, chief financial officer for the district, was recognized for his Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending in 2013. 

“My team and I take great pride in our financial reporting. The COE award confirms our commitment to financial accountability and transparency and we appreciate ASBO for publicly acknowledging our work. Our community has a long history of supporting our schools and we take our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer dollars very seriously.”

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.05.2014

AFS students share highlights of their time at Heights High

Eight AFS exchange students are preparing to head back home after spending either the entire 2013–14 school year, or the second semester, at Heights High. The students all lived with local Heights families and brought a global perspective to both their families and the school.

When the students return to their home countries, they take with them their experiences of living here, and lasting relationships with their host families and friends.

Below, each student shares the highlights of his or her experiences here.

Baraa Abu Al-Aish (Palestine), hosted by the Bailey/Walker family: “Nice students and teachers, going to sleepovers, shopping, Chiplote and mac and cheese!”

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 3:33 PM, 06.02.2014

Residents express concerns at Wiley swing space meeting

A community meeting about transforming Wiley Middle School to swing space during high school and middle school construction was held on May 20 at the school. District staff and consultants discussed building design, safety and security, traffic flow and modular classrooms. Community members were able to ask questions and offer input.

In November 2013, Heights residents passed a $134.8 million bond issue to fund renovations of Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, including the high school and Monticello and Roxboro middle schools.

At the end of the 2013–14 school year, Wiley will be shut down so that construction can begin to expand the building to house Heights High students.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:14 PM, 05.30.2014

Heights High Hall of Fame inducts ten

On May 8, the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame (HOF) held its 34th induction ceremony. The HOF honors the accomplishments of Heights alumni while giving current students solid examples of what they can accomplish in life, and the opportunity to hear from adults who once sat in the same seats and walked the same halls as they do.

A student committee, the Imagemakers, selects inductees from nominations made by the general public. Students do not know the names of the nominees, only their accomplishments.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 5:46 PM, 05.29.2014

Beaumont students medal in National Latin Exam

Beaumont School garnered a total of 35 awards in this year’s National Latin Exam, including six gold and 17 silver medals. 

The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, is a 40-question, multiple-choice test with a time limit of 45 minutes, offered to students on seven levels. Questions on the exam include grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world.

“Beaumont has been really successful on the National Latin Exam,” explained Claudia Heilman, Latin teacher. “We have so many gold and silver medal winners, and in my 25 years as a teacher, I have also seen two young women get perfect scores on the test.”

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 5:41 PM, 05.29.2014