Schools

Senior soloists featured at Heights High Midwinter Concert

The breadth of the instrumental music program at Cleveland Heights High School will ring loud and clear at the Midwinter Concert when two senior soloists take the stage. The performance takes place on Friday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the school's Dina Rees Evans Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults, and are available the day of the show.

Eli Kauffman will perform his own composition, Piano Concerto #1, with Symphonic Winds, and violist Mason Spencer will perform Bartok’s Viola Concerto with Heights High Symphony.

Kauffman characterizes his piece as modern classical with jazz influences. He began work on it last year, and continued to make minor changes as he rehearsed it with the 45 members of Symphonic Winds. He started composing during his sophomore year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:57 PM, 01.29.2015

Heights Perelman selected for All-Ohio soccer team

Heights High senior soccer player and team captain Zander Perelman is one of 18 players selected for the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association’s All-Ohio Soccer Team—an honorary designation chosen by division 1 (large school) coaches. Cleveland.com also selected him for its 2014 All Star Team.

“Zander is a shining example of the student-athlete,” said Sean Sullivan, Heights High soccer coach. “He brings sportsmanship, integrity and competitiveness to the field every day.” He also put the ball in the net 57 times, scoring in every game of this past season and breaking the team record of 30 goals in a season.

“I like the feeling of scoring—the excitement of that is like nothing else,” said Perelman. “Playing striker lets me be involved in most plays and make a difference for the team.”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 5:51 PM, 01.29.2015

CHHS swim team hosts final competition in current pool

The Saturday, Jan. 31 Heights High home swim meet is a big one. It is the final competition that will take place in the school’s 1962 vintage pool. The next time the team competes on the high school’s Cedar and Lee campus, it will be in a brand-new pool.

The meet, to be held at 3 p.m., is also senior night, when each senior is honored and the competing team, West Geauga, partners with Heights to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the event will be the generosity of the teams, collaborating to benefit cancer research. For the past five years, the two teams have coordinated the fundraising event and raised an average of $1,000 each year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:32 AM, 01.27.2015

CH-UH kindergarten and preschool open houses set for early February

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites Heights residents to attend its kindergarten and preschool open houses on Feb. 3 (and one on Feb. 4), to learn about enrolling their children.  

All district elementary schools and Gearity Professional Development School preschool, will host open houses on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

Noble Elementary School preschool will host its open house a day later, on Feb. 4, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

The open houses provide an opportunity for families to learn about each school’s curriculum and programs.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:53 AM, 01.27.2015

District votes to place 2015 operating levy on May ballot

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from the CH-UH City School District on Jan. 22, describing the district’s plans to place an operating levy on the May ballot.]

Citing the need to protect academic progress and avoid additional, significant cuts, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) has approved the second and final reading necessary to place a 5.9-mill operating levy on the May 2015 ballot. The reading took place at the Jan. 20 board work session, where Scott Gainer, district CFO, and Jane Geneva, Lay Finance Committee (LFC) chair, provided a recap of a report that was presented in December, and responded to additional questions from the board.

Geneva stated, “After a lengthy, thorough review of district finances and projections, two things are very clear. First, the district has made careful use of our community’s funds, has reduced costs, and continues to find ways to economize while protecting classroom education from budget cuts. Second, because of the way that Ohio funds its schools, the district must pursue additional operating funds this year, or we will face major cuts that will impact the classroom, and we would face a much larger need for operating funds next year.”

 

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:38 PM, 01.22.2015

Local middle school students join model UN event at JCU

More than 60 students from Roxboro and Monticello middle schools attended a two-day United Nations simulation at John Carroll University in January. The Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) organized the event, in which Roxboro finished first in the large school division and both schools brought home certificates of recognition and awards.

For its first-place finish, Roxboro will receive an engraved cup at CCWA’s annual meeting in June. Monticello Middle School finished second in the smaller school division.

The delegates worked hard to prepare for the simulation, researching and completing a country profile, as well as developing a position paper on specific topics for delegates to use in committee sessions. With help from teachers Deborah Frost, Janet Lechleitner, John Powaski and Anthony Provenzale, CH-UH students joined more than 200 students, from nine middle schools, to represent 47 countries.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.20.2015

District moves to place 2015 operating levy on May ballot

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from the CH-UH City School District on Jan. 14, describing the district’s plans to place an operating levy on the May ballot.]

The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) approved the first reading of the proposed 5.9 mills May 2015 operating levy language at its Jan. 6 regular meeting. A second public reading will take place at the board’s Jan. 20 work session at the Delisle Options Center at 6 p.m. The Lay Finance Committee (LFC) Chair Jane Geneva will also be at this meeting to answer any additional questions about the LFC report the board members may have.

The public readings are the first step in the process of placing an operating levy on the May ballot.

 

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:01 PM, 01.19.2015

Cardale Jones visits Heights High

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones stopped by Heights High on Wednesday, Jan. 14 to see his former Glenville coach Scott Niedzwiecki, a Heights science teacher. “I have always kept in touch with Coach Scott and I just wanted to check in with him today,” said Jones.

As he walked through the hallways, Jones drew quite a bit of attention. Fellow Buckeye—and former track team captain—Principal Zoraba Ross congratulated Jones and his performance. “We are all so proud of you and the way you represented our city and state,” said Ross.

Heights High football player LeAndrew Woody was happy to be in the right place at the right time to meet Jones and share in an “O-H-I-O” photo. “Yes, that was cool,” said Woody.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 7:00 PM, 01.14.2015

Mosdos withdraws offer to purchase Millikin; district announces building is no longer for sale

After years of efforts to negotiate the sale of the former Millikin Elementary School building to local private K–8 school Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, the City of Cleveland Heights and Mosdos jointly announced that Mosdos has withdrawn its purchase offer.

“Mosdos found after investigation that it is not able to secure necessary financing due to renovation costs,” said Alan Rapoport, attorney for Mosdos Ohr Hatorah.

“We spent many years working on this deal and are disappointed, but we certainly understand the situation. We wish Mosdos the very best,” said Nancy Peppler, CH-UH Board of Education president.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:00 PM, 01.14.2015

Cleveland Heights–University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 12-16-2014

DECEMBER 16, 2014

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Course offerings for 2015–16
  • Policy updates
  • Field trips
  • Donations
  • Donation rededicated
  • Wiley enabling project
  • Millikin agreement
  • 2015 school levy recommended
  • Career tech education at Delisle Center
  • Neighborhood site plan
  • HVAC plan
  • Budget
  • Public comments

All board members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:42 AM, 01.20.2015

Communion of Saints team advances to district Lego tournament

The Saber Sockets team from Communion of Saints School will compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Northeast Ohio District Tournament, to be held at the University of Akron, on Saturday Jan. 10. The Saber Sockets was one of six teams to advance from the Hathaway Brown Regional Tournament, held in December. 

FLL introduces young students, ages 9–14, in grades 4–8, to real-world engineering challenges. Teams of up to 10 students, with at least two coaches, build Lego-based robots to complete tasks.

This year’s Communion of Saints team members are Robbie Applegate, Caleb Blake, Will Eva, Jenna Gordon, Mark Heltzel, David Lampman, Max McNeil (alternate), Preston Oddo, Henry Peyrebrune, Kenny Statham and Jacob Welsh.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 12:03 PM, 01.06.2015

Heights High Auto Tech Program is nationally certified

The Cleveland Heights High School Auto Tech Program has received accreditation from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The inspection took place in early October and was led by a member of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, assisted by three local automotive evaluators. The evaluation considers 10 areas of the program, including instruction, equipment and co-op work agreements.

The ASE certification applies to the program and the facility, with the added value of instructor Jeff Porter being an ASE Master Certified Technician. These certifications mean that students in the program are eligible to earn the G1 high school level auto technology certification.

“This ASE national certification ensures that our students leave here prepared,” said Porter. “With that certification, students can attend a technical college or enter the work force.”

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:38 AM, 01.05.2015

Heights High students explore sustainable fishing practices

We frequently hear the word sustainability, but do we know what it means? Heights High students in Jim Miller’s environmental science class are learning about sustainability by researching fishing practices across the globe. Their areas of study include Lake Erie, the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans and the Kinabatangan River in Malaysia.

At the beginning of the project, students learned the definition of sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without limiting the ability of people, other species, and future generations to survive.

“My goal is to teach the concept of sustainability by using fishing practices as an example,” said Miller. “It was really exciting to see the students relating their research to the classroom experiences.”

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:40 AM, 01.05.2015

Minority students share strategies for academic success

More than 100 Heights High students attended the after-school Honors and AP Ice Cream Social on Nov. 10, sponsored by the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN). “Our goal is to encourage minority participation in honors and AP courses,” said David Peake, MSAN co-advisor. “This event was a good step towards that goal.”

The event began with ice cream and toppings, followed by a three-student panel discussion covering important areas of a student’s school life: personal, family, societal, classroom and communication with teachers, and concluded with a problem-solving discussion.

The student panelists were MSAN seniors Cimone Krumpman and Eboni Gray, and junior Taylor Jones. The discussion was facilitated by Peake.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:34 AM, 01.05.2015

Jan. 28 forum will explore teacher quality and education reform

What makes a great teacher? Can we measure quality? How to do we populate schools with teachers who meet our expectations and can respond to the needs of our students? What does a test-based evaluation system do to the teaching profession?

These are some of the issues that a panel of teachers and small group conversations will explore at the Myth of Failing Teachers public forum on Jan. 28. The event, sponsored by the Heights Coalition for Public Education, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Social Room at Cleveland Heights High School.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 12:04 PM, 01.03.2015

Community asked to help preserve Heights High heritage

A group of Heights residents is asking school personnel and community members to help preserve the past as the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District moves forward with its Create the Future plans to modernize buildings for the 21st century.

“It is important to honor, appreciate and learn from the past,” said Mazie Adams, a Heights alumna and parent, and member of the CH-UH Archive and Preservation Committee.

“With a building whose core dates to the 1920s, we know there are hidden treasures in nooks and crannies that we hope to spare from the wrecking ball,” said Adams, former executive director of the Lakewood Historical Society.

The committee grew out of community meetings the school district held in spring 2014 during phase 1 of the high school renovation project. Residents were invited to create working groups to offer input on aspects of the Master Facilities Plan.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:51 AM, 01.03.2015

Heights High athletes sponsor toy drive

The Heights High winter athletic teams—bowling, boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey, boys and girls swimming and diving, and wrestling—sponsored a toy drive this holiday season. The CHHS Athletic Department partnered with the Cleveland Heights Youth Council on the project and collected nearly 500 toys. On Dec. 14, nearly 150 athletes met at the Cleveland Heights Recreation Center to wrap the presents.

During the week of Dec. 15, the toys will be distributed by Santa’s elves to children attending the Cleveland Heights-University Heights elementary schools.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 1:22 PM, 12.17.2014

Heights High's A Capella Choir featured on Fox 8 News

The Heights High A Capella Choir, directed by Craig McGaughey, performed on WJW Fox 8 News in the Morning on Monday, Dec. 15. The choir sang several holiday songs and took pictures with anchors Kristi Capel, Stefani Schaeffer and Wayne Dawson.

Later in the morning, the students stopped by the Board of Education offices and entertained the staff there.

Check out the A Capella Choir on Fox 8’s website: http://fox8.com/2014/12/15/fox-8-jukebox-cleveland-heights-high-school-a-cappella-choir/

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:09 AM, 12.16.2014

Community invited to Roxboro Middle School Spelling Bee on Dec. 15

Roxboro Middle School’s student spellers have been preparing for the fifth annual Roxboro Middle School Spelling Bee, presented by the school’s PTA, which will take place on Monday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m., in the school auditorium.

The highest-ranking seventh- or eighth-grade student will go on to represent Roxboro Middle School at the Cuyahoga County Spelling Bee in March. The top three winners will receive prize packages that include Cleveland Orchestra tickets and certificates from Bruegger’s Bagels and On the Rise Bakery.

The community is invited to attend the bee, and cheer on this year's spellers.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 12.12.2014

Chemistry students compete in cook-off

Zach Tracy’s chemistry class is cookin’!

He teaches chemistry concepts through the lens of cooking. “It’s kitchen chemistry,” said Tracy. On Oct. 10, he hosted the first annual Chicken Breast Top Chef Challenge in his fifth- and sixth-period chemistry classes.

Part of the assignment was to test the effectiveness of brining chicken, the practice of soaking meat in salt water. The students researched how to prepare brining solutions at known concentrations and how brining times affect water retention in the chicken.

Each team used its own combinations of brining time, rubs and sauces. Some teams mixed spices in the brining solutions while others used rubs after the brining.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 2:05 PM, 12.01.2014

Urban Oak School aims to teach the whole child

Choosing a school is every parent’s challenge. Whether public or private, parents want the environment that suits their child, conforms to their educational vision, and helps their child flourish.

One of the attractions of Cleveland Heights has been access to a variety of quality school choices. Now, there’s another option attracting families to the community, and connecting them to a fast-growing educational movement, one that has been around for almost a century.

Urban Oak School is Greater Cleveland’s first and only early childhood and elementary school based on the Waldorf philosophy of education, a humanistic approach to teaching based on the educational philosophy of Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 2:02 PM, 12.01.2014

State designates Canterbury a High Progress School

Based on its 2013–14 Ohio School Report Card score in math and reading, Canterbury Elementary School has been awarded the High Progress School of Honor designation by the Ohio Department of Education.

“Canterbury is a special community where teachers and staff have high expectations for our students,” said Erica Wigton, Canterbury principal. “And students give tremendous effort to meet those expectations. This award validates Canterbury’s hard work and effort. And, of course, this award goes beyond the building; the whole Canterbury community should celebrate this success. We are so fortunate to have dedicated parents who go above and beyond through volunteering, fundraising and creating meaningful events.”

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 1:58 PM, 12.01.2014

Heights High National Merit Commended Students announced

Cleveland Heights High School seniors Shani Gelles, Ben Gillooly, Ann Zicari and David Pecoraro were named National Merit Commended Students. Approximately 34,000 commended students were recognized nationwide for their exceptional academic promise. Commended students are those who placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) but will not continue in the 2015 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards.

Gelles has appreciated the diversity and academic offerings at Heights High. She is currently taking AP biology, economics, statistics and literature as well as American Sign Language IV, government and political philosophy. She is on the volleyball and track teams, and last year was the MVP of the league track meet, where she won the one- and two-mile races and placed third in the pole vault. She is also the president of the Jewish Student Union and a leader in the Model U.N. club.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 1:56 PM, 12.01.2014

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 working 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, www.chuh.org/GuysDollsTicketInfo.aspx. 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 CrainsCleveland.com, 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, www.chuh.org, 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