Schools

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 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

CH-UH BOE selects superintendent who won't push 'restart button'

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously at a special meeting March 14 to offer the position of superintendent to Elizabeth Kirby, currently chief of school strategy and planning for Chicago Public Schools. Kirby has spent her 23-year career in Chicago schools as a teacher, principal and administrator. A native Clevelander who grew up in Shaker-Buckeye and graduated from the Hawken School, Kirby is scheduled to begin her new role on Aug. 1, pending contract negotiations.

"I'm very excited to have Liz Kirby joining Tiger Nation,” said Jodi Sourini, BOE president, via e-mail. “She understands both the challenges and opportunities in diverse districts like ours. During her day visiting our district, she really connected with our teachers, students, staff and community.”

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 9:12 AM, 03.19.2019

Forum will explore impact of school vouchers

The League of Women Voters (LWV) invites the public to a forum on Ohio’s school voucher programs and their local effects, to be held on Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., at Heights Libraries’ Lee Road Branch, 2345 Lee Road.

Susie Kaeser, a Cleveland Heights LWV member and co-convener of the Heights Coalition for Public Education, will offer an overview of Ohio’s voucher policies and concerns. James Posch, a member of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE), will address how voucher policies have affected our local public schools.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 10:27 AM, 03.04.2019

Communion of Saints School presents 'Honk!'

More than 70 Communion of Saints students are involved in the school’s upcoming production of "Honk! Jr.," to be performed on April 5 and 6, at 7 p.m., in Powers Hall at Communion of Saints School.

Now in its 10th year, the school’s drama program invites the community to escape the cold with the heartwarming tale of an ugly duckling’s transformation.

Whether working behind the scenes or on stage, students are under the guidance of Lydia Chanenka, director and scenery painter extraordinaire, and Maria Botti-Lodovico, choreographer and musical director, as they bring the story to life through music and magical scenery.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 1:18 PM, 03.03.2019

CH-UH Students receive health care at school

There are many barriers that may prevent CH-UH students from receiving appropriate health care. Some students lack health insurance, others may have transportation issues, or their parents may have jobs without paid time off to care for family members. This can result in students not receiving the care they need, or missing school time because of illness. 

To the rescue: Cleveland Clinic’s Mobile Health Unit. These vans—literally, a doctor’s office on wheels—travel to schools in six districts in and around Cleveland, including CH-UH. The vans have visited both Boulevard and Oxford elementary schools once each week for the past two years, and will add Gearity and Noble elementary schools this spring. 

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:43 AM, 03.02.2019

Heights High Swim Cadets live 'Glam Life' in annual show

The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 14-member synchronized swim team, will present its 2019 annual show Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 28 through March 2, at 7 p.m.

Performances take place at the Heights High pool, at 13263 Cedar Road (entrance on west side of the building). Tickets, $9, are available from Cadet members in advance, and at the door. About 50 tickets per night will be available for purchase at the box office, which will open at 6:15 p.m.

The show will also be livestreamed on Friday, March 1, on the school district’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/chuhschools, where it will remain for future viewing.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 7:12 PM, 02.25.2019

CH-UH schools host kindergarten info nights

Beginning Feb. 27, 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.

Here is a list, by date, of each elementary school’s info. night:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 27, 6:30–7:30 p.m., Boulevard Elementary School, 1749 Lee Road. Light refreshments and activities for children will be provided.
  • Wednesday, March 6, 6–7 p.m., Roxboro Elementary School, 2405 Roxboro Road. During the presentation for parents, children will meet in a kindergarten classroom for crafts and a chance to meet future classmates. After information night, families are encouraged to tour the school, visit the book fair and attend Roxboro Elementary Multicultural Night.
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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.19.2019

BOE names Williams district's interim superintendent

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) has named Brian Williams, longtime district administrator and, currently, coordinator of alternative programming at the Options Center, interim superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

Williams will assume the interim role on March 4, the date on which current Superintendent Talisa Dixon plans to start her new job as superintendent of the Columbus City School District.

The BOE unanimously approved the appointment of Williams at its meeting on Jan. 30.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 10:50 AM, 02.01.2019

Heights middle school students shine at Power of the Pen

Monticello and Roxboro middle school students wield a mighty power—the power of the pen. Last December, teams from both schools participated in the eighth Power of the Pen writing competition, hosted by Monticello at the Wiley campus.

More than 200 middle school students from 22 area schools attended the full-day Saturday event. After a get-to-know-you scavenger hunt, students participated in three rounds of intense competition. Groups of six students gathered in classrooms where they had 40 minutes to respond to an assigned writing prompt, for example, “describe a fate worse than death in your narrative,” or “liven things up in an otherwise dull study hall.”

The stories generated in each session were judged on a series of criteria, including creativity, voice, grammar and spelling, and adherence to the assigned topic. Points were awarded to each student before they moved to the next room to compete against five different writers, using a new prompt. When the total points were tallied at day’s end, Heights’s middle school students did extremely well.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.31.2019

CH-UH BOE to interview superintendent candidates and appoint interim leader

The search for the next superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is in full swing. The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) began the process in November, and expects to interview finalists in February, with the goal of naming its new superintendent by March.

The BOE will name an interim superintendent to lead the district beginning in March, when the current superintendent, Talisa Dixon, leaves for Columbus City Schools. The new permanent superintendent is expected to begin work in CH-UH in the summer of 2019.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 12:07 PM, 01.08.2019

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 12-18-2018

DECEMBER 18, 2018

 

  • Public comments
  • Update on the superintendent search
  • Middle school change orders
  • Mapping available elementary school space

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:32 p.m. and adjourned at 8:58 pm.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.08.2019

Community book discussion to explore school 'testing charade'

If you are the parent or grandparent of school-age children, there’s an important book that the Heights Coalition for Public Education urges you to read. The book—The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, by Daniel Koretz—concerns a topic that affects the CH-UH community: the overwhelming intrusion of high-stakes standardized testing in the public schools. 

The Coalition invites members of the community to discuss The Testing Charade on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7–9 p.m., in the Wiley Middle School cafeteria. Relevant and important conversation is promised, as well as a few surprises.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:54 AM, 01.02.2019

Teachers honored as diversity advocates

Four English Language Arts teachers in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District were honored at the state level for their work in promoting the importance of diversity among district educators.
 
Lorna Askew, Angela Coleman-Kirkland, Mikia Searcy and Sherice Thomas are recipients of the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) Diversity Award. They were selected as a result of their participation in the OCTELA Teacher Diversity Recruitment Program, and were among nominees from across the state.
 
“I think that it is important for students of color to experience school life with teachers who have a similar race or ethnicity because it is more likely that they will infuse multicultural perspectives and relate how the curriculum was influenced by diverse peoples," said Askew, an intervention specialist at Heights Middle School. "Students of color need to see role models, and they need to know that people who looked like them influenced the subject matter that they are learning." 

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:31 AM, 01.01.2019

JCU volunteers partner with Options students

It takes a village to raise a child. Brian Williams, coordinator of alternative education for the CH-UH City School District’s Options Center, would argue that the same applies to raising a teenager.

The teenagers in his care, 145 high-school students who are working to recover their credits and get back on the track to graduation, benefit from a “village” of regular volunteers from John Carroll University (JCU).

Nearly 40 college students visit the Options Center, located in the Delisle Building, for 90 minutes each week to tutor students. The program is organized by the Center for Service and Social Action at JCU  and coordinated by J.P. Graulty, JCU’s assistant director for community partnerships.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.01.2019

Heights High basketball team meets Holocaust survivor

The new Heights High varsity basketball coach, Michael Cruz, wants to provide both physical and social-emotional training for his team. That is why he partnered with Heights High "Lessons of the Holocaust" teacher Mark Sack to plan a Nov. 29 team visit to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage's Stop the Hate exhibit, and a meeting with 92-year-old Holocaust survivor Stanley Bernath.

“For the team to meet with Mr. Bernath was a real honor,” said Sack. “We do not have many Holocaust survivors left, and I knew that he could share his stories and tell the team about the dangers of hate and indifference.”

Bernath shared his story of survival during the Holocaust and offered advice to the students. He told the young men: “Believe in yourselves; never, ever give up, no matter how bad things look. Nobody is better than you and you are not better than anybody else—we are just different!”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:17 AM, 01.01.2019

Robotics team swaps force for finesse

The Cleveland Heights High School robotics team has gone from trying to destroy its challengers to trying to beat them with finesse. For the past several years, they have designed and built Battle Bots, remote-controlled robotic units that battle other robots in a bulletproof cage. Last year the team placed 2nd at the regional competition and 5th at nationals.

This year the 30-member team is using a new model, Vex Robotics, a system for designing, programming, building and operating robotic units that perform sophisticated movements.

“Think of an Erector Set on steroids,” said robotics team coach Greg Nachman. “The kits are very versatile, with more opportunities for students to program the robotic movements.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:25 AM, 01.01.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 12-4-2018

DECEMBER 4, 2018

Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Members of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights library board were also present. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Library board trustee interviews

This work session was held to conduct library board trustee interviews to elect a candidate to one, open seven-year term.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 4:28 PM, 12.17.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 11-20-2018

NOVEMBER 20, 2018

 

  • Update on facilities renovations
  • Measuring student performance

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. after an executive session and a meeting with Michael Collins of Ray and Associates, Inc., to discuss the superintendent search. The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 4:22 PM, 12.17.2018

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 11-5-2018

NOVEMBER 5, 2018

 

  • Public comments
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Student report on MSAN conference
  • Board approvals
  • School safety
  • Before and after school programming
  • Superintendent search firm
  • Enrollment trends
  • ECOT lawsuit participation
  • Upcoming district events
  • Heights Coalition for Public Education events
  • Award to Dr. Dixon

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. After a presentation by the Finding Leaders consultant group from 6 to 7 p.m. concerning the search for a new superintendent, the regular board meeting was called to order at 8 p.m. and was adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 12.17.2018

Heights High remodel wins Heritage Ohio preservation award

The recently renovated Cleveland Heights High School building was honored by Heritage Ohio with its Best Public Building Rehabilitation Award. The award was presented to Board of Education President Jim Posch and Superintendent Talisa Dixon during a ceremony on Oct. 23 at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland.

“Winning the Best Public Building Rehabilitation award is an honor for our school district and our community,” said Posch. “We appreciate the support of FutureHeights for helping to make this happen. This honor gives me a great sense of pride for my community and all the great people who worked so hard on the project.” (Full disclosure: The Heights Observer is a volunteer-written publication of FutureHeights.)

FutureHeights, the community development corporation serving Cleveland Heights and University Heights, nominated and pursued the award for the school district.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 12:17 PM, 11.20.2018

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-16-2018

OCTOBER 16, 2018

 

  • Middle school renovation change orders
  • Finance presentation
  • Citizens Task Force Committee

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Beverly Wright and Malia Lewis were present. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:32 p.m. and adjourned at 10:16 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:17 AM, 11.13.2018

Communion of Saints hosts Dec. 16 holiday shop

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Communion of Saints PTO invites the community to shop local at its inaugural Holiday Pop-Up Shop. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 20 businesses and artisans will gather in Walsh Hall, at Saint Ann Church, 2175 Stillman Road.

The shop will feature jewelry, clothing for all ages, functional pottery, Cleveland Heights- and Cleveland-themed ornaments and prints, stationary, honey and jams, and unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. There will be a variety of items in every price range.

StudioCat at Artful will be on site, offering, for a small fee, crafts for young creators.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.03.2018

Heights High stage crew lets the magic fly

Members of Cleveland Heights High School’s Vocal Music Department have enjoyed cheering crowds, bouquets of flowers, praise and admiration from all corners of the community. But their impressive four-day production of the musical "Mary Poppins" would not have been nearly as impressive—or even possible—without the time, commitment and expertise of the stage crew.

Heights High’s stage crew may exist in the shadows, but its work is front and center. The students spent months building sets, painting scenes, mastering the sound technology, designing the lighting, and learning to safely operate the flying equipment. Yes, that’s right: the flying equipment.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 12.03.2018

High schoolers launch lip gloss company

Parents of teenagers often wonder if their kids ever listen to their advice. Well, the parents of Logan Wallace and Nia Farrow, freshmen at Heights High, and Santasia Farrow, a junior at Brush High School, need wonder no longer. After a particularly expensive trip to the mall last spring, the girls’ parents joked that because they spend so much money on cosmetics, they should just launch their own lip-gloss company. 

And that is what they did.

After months of research and planning, including a trip to New York City to visit a makeup manufacturing warehouse where they selected and purchased their colors and finishes, the three girls launched Glitty Cosmetics, makeup “for girls, by girls.”

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:59 PM, 11.29.2018

Heights Career Tech partners with Tri-C culinary program

Students in the Heights Career Tech program will soon have another professional pathway to choose from. Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the five-district consortium will partner with Cuyahoga Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program.

The two-year program will begin with 18 juniors taking two courses, Hospitality Fundamentals and Fundamentals of Food Production, at Tri-C’s Eastern Campus in 2019-20. The following year, the program will expand to 18 juniors and 18 seniors. The senior courses are Restaurant Management and Room Service and Operations. Students will receive 10 college credits after completion of the program.

“We are excited to announce this new partnership with Tri-C,” said CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon. “But we are more excited about the opportunities that the partnership will provide to our students.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:30 PM, 10.31.2018

Tiger Nation celebrates homecoming

The Heights community came together in spectacular fashion as Tiger Nation celebrated Homecoming 2018 on Oct. 12 and 13. After spirit days at many of the district’s schools and an afternoon pep rally at the high school, more than 27 groups—representing sports teams, extracurricular clubs and every one of the district's seven elementary schools—marched in the Homecoming Parade.

Making its way through the heart of the Cedar Lee Business District for the second year, the parade comprised more than 600 participants and drew countless spectators.

With the speedy cross-country team racing the route, and the loud and lively Heights High marching band keeping the beat, the parade began at Fairfax Elementary School and headed north on Lee Road. Parents, alumni and community members gathered at various Cedar Lee businesses, including The Wine Spot, where the Heights Schools Foundation hosted an alumni watch party as part of the Class of 1988’s 30th reunion.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:14 PM, 10.16.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-2-1018

OCTOBER 2, 2018

 

  • New master teachers
  • Board approvals
  • Future buildings
  • Career and ed tech fair
  • Meeting with Ohio School Board Association

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heinz and Malia Lewis were present. Beverly Wright was absent. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:10 p.m. after an executive session and adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:15 AM, 10.22.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 9-25-2018

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

 

  • 2018 state report card update
  • Summer programming update
  • Board approvals
  • Superintendent Dixon’s departure

 

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz and Beverly Wright were present. Malia Lewis was absent. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. after a board training session and adjourned at 8:48 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:10 AM, 10.22.2018

Dixon to leave CH-UH schools for Columbus district

On Sept. 21, both the CH-UH schools superintendent, Talisa Dixon, and the Board of Education released statements regarding Dixon’s recent decision to take the position of Superintendent of the Columbus City Schools. Dixon expressed how honored she was to be chosen for the prestigious post, but affirmed her commitment to complete the 2018-19 school year with the CH-UH district, citing the need to “finish important work” and “see through our initiatives.”   

In its statement, the board expressed regret at losing “a dynamic leader,” but also its pride that “Ohio’s largest public school district has selected [Dixon] as its next superintendent. We believe this validates that we as a district are working on the right things: equity, community partnerships, improving communications with our families and community, and building strong relationships with our teachers and staff.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:23 AM, 09.25.2018

CH-UH schools host October open houses

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will host community open houses at each of its schools beginning in mid-October. The district’s seven elementary schools, as well as its high school and middle school, will be open to all community members, including prospective families and current families, to enable them to see and experience opportunities at the schools.

The first open house is on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Cleveland Heights High School, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the school’s homecoming weekend celebration. The Heights Schools Foundation will host a cookout during the open house, to benefit scholarships for graduating seniors.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:56 PM, 09.27.2018

Bishop Perez visits Communion of Saints

Tuesday, Aug. 27, marked the first day of school for Communion of Saints students.

The morning started with lively music, and coffee and donuts provided by the Parent Teacher Organization as Communion of Saints students, in preschool through eighth grade, gathered in the parking lot with their families. A blessing given by Communion of Saints pastor, Father John McNulty, followed.

That evening, Bishop Nelson Perez presided over an all-school mass held at St. Ann’s Church.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:56 AM, 10.01.2018

Two CH-UH schools earn national PTA distinction

Canterbury Elementary School and Heights Middle School each have been awarded the two-year National PTA School of Excellence distinction for their commitment to inclusivity of families and enriching the educational experience for all students.

The national program helps PTAs become partners in identifying and implementing school-improvement initiatives based on PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. To qualify, each school had to enroll, conduct a survey, load data, and create an action team and an action plan based on that data—all of which would support the school-improvement process. Each school then had to submit its plan and, finally, deploy a summative survey and narrative that showed improvement.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:30 AM, 09.18.2018