Schools

Heights High robotics teams place first and second

Heights High teams won first and second place at the April 28 regional Battle Bot Robotics competition at Lakeland Community College, in which 20 high school teams from Northeast Ohio competed.

This year Heights High fielded two teams; Team Black placed first and Team Gold placed second.

Team Black defeated Beaumont School in the semifinals—an upset that set the stage for Heights High’s Team Gold to vie with Team Black for first place. Beaumont took third place.

“Beaumont was a tough team to beat, as always, they are well prepared and have great design,” said Heights High Robotics coach Greg Nachman.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 8:41 PM, 05.21.2018

Get ready to 'Run Like It’s Recess'

The RoxEl Run, a fun-filled, community, and inter-generational family event benefiting Roxboro Elementary School, takes place Saturday, May 19 at 9 a.m. The race begins at the Roxboro Middle School track, 2400 Roxboro Road, and loops through the Cleveland Heights neighborhoods surrounding the school.

The race options include 4-mile and 2-mile runs, or a 2-mile walk that begins shortly after the run start time and follows the same route. The Kid’s Fun Run, for the youngest elementary-age children, begins at 10 a.m. and takes place inside the middle school track. Last year’s event drew 350 participants and raised over $5,000. Everyone is encouraged to attend regardless of fitness level.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 11:17 AM, 05.15.2018

Dewey's Decimators again win Reaching Heights Spelling Bee

The 27th Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee went eight rounds on April 18, on the Heights High auditorium stage. Dewey’s Decimators, representing Friends of the Heights Libraries, correctly spelled “chiaroscurist” to win the fun—but quite serious—spelling competition. Spellers Victor Rosenberg, Susan Marshall and Chris Mentrek were happy to bring home the team’s fourth victory, tying it with the OOPS team, representing the Cleveland Orchestra musicians, as the “winningest” in the history of the Bee.

Upper Case, representing Case Western Reserve University, was the fundraising champion again this year, collecting more than $1,700 to benefit the work of Reaching Heights.

Collectively, participating teams raised $11,000 for Reaching Heights. 

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 05.01.2018

Communion of Saints students bring 'Shrek' to the stage

In the mood for some ogre-sized family fun?

The Communion of Saints School Drama Program, now in its ninth year, will present “Shrek Jr. The Musical” on May 4 and 5, at 7 p.m., in Powers Hall at Communion of Saints School.

More than 70 students are involved in this year‘s production, on the stage and behind the scenes. Under the guidance of Lydia Chanenka, director and scenery painter, and Maria Botti-Lodovico, choreographer and musical director, the magic of the swamp is brought to life through music and magical scenery.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:06 AM, 05.01.2018

Heights seniors earn peace officer certification

Ten seniors in the Heights High Criminal Justice program have received Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy (OPOTA) certification. Students also earned college credits from Tri-C Community College and Bryant & Stratton College.

OPOTA is part of Heights High’s Career and Technical Education program, and is taught by Commander Johnnie Lemons, a retired Ohio State Patrol trooper.

The certification qualifies students for employment in private security. Additional certifications earned by the students are in CPR, first aid, automated external defibrillator, and 12 sections of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 8:20 AM, 05.01.2018

District receives Auditor of State Award

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has received the Auditor of State (AOS) Award with Distinction for the district’s “clean and accurate” financial record keeping.

Michelle Stys, AOS state liaison director, presented the award, for fiscal year 2017, to Treasurer Scott Gainer and his finance team at the April 10 board of education meeting.

The award is given to those governmental entities that produce a voluntary Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and receive a “clean” audit report.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 10:40 AM, 05.01.2018

Project Lead the Way comes to CH-UH middle schools

According to its website, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a national K-12 program designed to “engage students in hands-on activities, projects, and problems; empower them to solve real-world challenges; and inspire them to reimagine how they see themselves.” 

Recently adopted as a course for CH-UH middle school students, it is offered as an elective for seventh- and eighth-graders at Roxboro and Monticello middle schools. Because the two schools are currently operating under one roof, the PLTW classroom has combined as well, with Amy Statler and Dianna Neal team-teaching the classes.

According to Statler, PLTW takes a human-centered approach, and the projects are challenging. One recent assignment asked students to design an orthopedic shoe for a patient with cerebral palsy who has specific medical and lifestyle needs.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 8:40 AM, 05.01.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 3-20-2018

MARCH 20, 2018

 

  • MSAN report
  • Middle school discipline and security

 

President Jim Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) students and administrative staff from the middle school also attended.The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 9 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 12:05 PM, 04.17.2018

Heights High Symphony concert will feature two senior soloists

Two Heights High graduating seniors, Eva Bambakidis and Matthew Fields, will perform with the Heights High Symphony, under the direction of Daniel Heim, in the CHHS Instrumental Music Department's (IMD) Season Finale Concert II, on Friday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. Bambakidis will play the third movement of Dmitri Kabalevsky's Concerto No. 3 in D for Piano and Orchestra. Fields will perform the first movement of Concerto No. 9 in B Flat for Violoncello and Orchestra by Luigi Boccherini.

The Heights High IMD’s spring concert series will begin on Wednesday April 25, with Season Finale Concert I at 7:30 p.m., featuring the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and the Concert Orchestra. The series continues on Friday, April 27, with Season Finale Concert II, featuring the two soloists, as well as the Symphonic Winds and the symphony.

Both concerts will be held in Heights High’s auditorium, and will be preceded by performances by chamber ensembles at 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow the April 27 concert, with entertainment by the jazz ensembles.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:18 AM, 03.31.2018

Heights High musicians meet alumnus and Super Bowl champion Jason Kelce

The annual Heights High Instrumental Music Department’s (IMD) Spring Tour (Feb. 21–24) featured an athletic element this year, as band members had a chance to meet with Jason Kelce, Heights High alumnus (2006) and Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Champion. As a student, Kelce played baritone saxophone in the school’s jazz band.

Last fall, when Band Director Brett Baker learned that the spring tour would be in Philadelphia, he texted Kelce to see if they could catch up for a few hours during the band’s visit to Central High School in North Philadelphia.

A few weeks before the visit, Baker asked Kelce if he would like to play baritone saxophone with the jazz band during its visit.

 

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.29.2018

RoxArts benefit supports school arts programs

The annual ROXARTS community fundraiser, supporting arts enrichment for all CH-UH City School District students in kindergarten through eighth grade, will be held on Saturday, April 28, at the B-Side in Cleveland Heights.

The night will start grooving at 7 p.m. with a disco-themed benefit that will include food from local eateries, complimentary beer and wine, a tabled auction with more than 30 items up for bid, and a live auction. Attendees are urged to dress in disco attire.

At 9 p.m., the B-Side and Grog Shop will transform into a Silent Disco. In lieu of a speaker system, the silent disco broadcasts music via radio transmitter into wireless headsets worn by the guests. Experience live DJs and dancing, like never before.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:00 AM, 03.31.2018

Annual alumni pancake breakfast is April 15

On Sunday, April 15, the community is invited to enjoy tours of the new Heights High, and a delicious pancake breakfast benefiting opportunity grants for every school in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

The annual Community and Alumni Pancake Breakfast will run from 9 a.m. until noon. Tickets, sold at the door, are $8 for standard admission, $5 for seniors (65 and older) and kids ages 4–12. Children 3 and younger are free.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:42 AM, 03.29.2018

Heights High celebrates 60 years of international exchange

The Cleveland Heights High School AFS International Exchange Program has been an active part of the Heights community for 60 years. Since 1957, Heights High families have hosted AFS international exchange students or sent their students abroad.

Heights High and the Greater Cleveland AFS program will celebrate this history at the AFS Heights High Gala on Saturday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, and include appetizers. Beginning March 31, tickets will be available for purchase at Zagara’s Marketplace.

The April 21 benefit event will celebrate the long history of international exchanges and cultural learning at the school, and will include displays from current Heights High AFS students and performances by Heights High vocalists. 

AFS was started after World War II by volunteer ambulance drivers who transported wounded soldiers to safety from both sides of battle (thus, the original name, American Field Service, or AFS). They established the AFS exchange program to promote understanding among nations and build cultural awareness.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:38 AM, 03.29.2018

Fairfax announces IB event

Fairfax Elementary School is on a path to become an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. Parents, students, and community members are invited to the school on Thursday, April 19, to learn about, and celebrate, what it means to be an IB school. Fairfax Elementary School is located at 3150 Fairfax Road, in Cleveland Heights.

The International Baccalaureate program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:30 AM, 03.29.2018

PTA program will provide guidelines for children's technology use

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights PTA Council will host the last program in its 2017–18 Social & Emotional Speaker Series, "Guidelines for Managing Children's Use of Media & Technology," on Monday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Heights High mini-auditorium.

The program will feature child therapist Karen Farley, who has worked for 30 years as a mental health worker with children ages 5–18. and as an adjunct faculty member at Cuyahoga Community College and Kent State University. She is an associate therapist at Jay Berk, Ph.D. and Associates.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:35 AM, 03.29.2018

Renovations begin at Monticello and Roxboro middle schools

Renovations at Monticello and Roxboro middle schools are officially underway as Turner Construction assumed control of the sites on March 12.

Turner will be renovating the buildings over the course of the next 15 months with the expected completion date sometime in the summer of 2019. Middle school students will begin the 2019–20 school year in the renovated buildings, after spending two years at the Wiley campus.

The focus of the renovations is on improving the instructional space in each building. Once complete, every classroom in each building will have new heating and air conditioning, paint, flooring, ceilings, lighting, fire alarms, a sound reinforcement system, a short throw projector, and a whiteboard.

New heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will be installed throughout both buildings, including the auditoriums, along with new lighting. Administrative areas will receive facelifts, with new carpet, paint and reception desks. 

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.27.2018

CH-UH students participate in National Walkout Day

Frigid temperatures were no deterrent for more than 1,000 CH-UH City School District students who chose to participate in National Walkout Day on Wednesday, March 14.

High school and middle school students walked outside at 10 a.m., joining the national movement to raise awareness for school safety and the impact of gun violence.

At Cleveland Heights High School, more than 700 students participated in a demonstration on the snow-covered football field. The event was student-led and voluntary. Many of the student organizers spoke at the demonstration to remember the victims of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, and to voice a call to action for stricter gun control.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:06 AM, 03.15.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education highlights 3-6-2018

MARCH 6, 2018

  • Public comments
  • High school music
  • Model UN participation
  • Tiger Team Members of the Month
  • Top of the Hill project
  • Gun violence in schools
  • Ohio House Bill 512
  • Field trips and donations

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon, Treasurer Scott Gainer, Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley and Cleveland Heights Director of Economic Development Tim Boland. The meeting began at 7:08 p.m., after an executive session, and adjourned at 9:18 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 12:55 PM, 03.20.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 2-20-2018

FEBRUARY 20, 2018

  • Public comments
  • MLK Essay award winners
  • Tiger Team members
  • Donations
  • Coventry building
  • Middle schools renovation
  • ECOT, other charter school payments
  • Top of the Hill update
  • Students’ stand on gun control
  • Conference room naming
  • Citizen resolution on automatic rifle sales
  • Board goals and committee assignments

President Jim Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. Prior to the open meeting, a Sunshine Laws Training was held at 6 p.m. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and adjourned at 10:45 p.m.

 

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 1:45 PM, 03.20.2018

St. Paul's Cooperative Preschool finds new home in the Heights

St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool has found a new home and chosen a new name for fall 2018. After the current school year ends in May, the preschool will move to Church of the Redeemer UMC, at 2420 S. Taylor Road, a little over a mile from its current location.

The co-op’s new name will be Heights Cooperative Preschool.

There will be two open-house sessions for interested families on April 23, at 9:30–10:30 a.m. and 6:30–7:30 p.m., at the preschool’s current location, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. For more information, call Deb Binkofsky, director of the co-op, at 216-932-0002.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:57 AM, 03.09.2018

CH-UH schools to host kindergarten info nights

In the next month, 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 schools’ principals and teachers, ask questions, and tour the buildings. Several of the schools will offer dinner and childcare or playtime services.
 
To find the school that corresponds to your place of residence, use the district’s interactive boundary map.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:56 AM, 03.09.2018

Coventry property will transfer to Heights Libraries

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) and the CH-UH Public Library System (Heights Libraries) have reached an agreement on the future of the former Coventry school property. On Feb. 5, the library board voted to accept from the school district the six-acre property, including the school building, playground and greenspace; on Feb. 20 the school board voted to transfer the property to Heights Libraries for $1. The transaction will close on March 31.

In 2017, upon learning of the school district’s desire to sell the property, current tenants of the building formed Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus and presented a unified vision for an arts and educational center. The library’s Coventry branch abuts the property at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, and provides the only free parking for the branch.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 03.01.2018

Barbershoppers receive ‘outstanding’ rating

If you’ve heard them you already know: The Heights High Barbershoppers are Outstanding. And now, it’s official. Both the Boys and Girls Barbershoppers received a rating of outstanding at the Barbershop Harmony Society International Festival in Costa Mesa, Calif. 

More than 600 students from 18 schools attended the event, Jan. 17 through 20. Barbershop music is unaccompanied (a capella) vocal music with four-part harmony.

This is the first year that the girls have attended the competition. The boys have attended for several years. The possible ratings of Good, Excellent, Outstanding and Superior are awarded by a panel of international vocal experts.

The Heights students performed without their director, Jesse Lange. “Our students were one of the few groups performing without a director,” said Lange. “That requires the singers to be more self-reliant and to depend on each other.”

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:39 PM, 03.02.2018

Penguins invade Gesu School

At the end of January, Gesu School launched a new program, Gesu Reads Together. The school embarked on this project to promote family literacy and demonstrate connections between academic subjects across the curriculum.

During the months of January and February, students in kindergarten through fourth grade read the classic children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater, and class work connected to the themes of the book, covering topics such as penguins, Polar regions, and the water cycle.

Each child received a copy of the book, and the Gesu School Parent Teacher Organization arranged many activities, including a kick-off assembly featuring Mr. Popper (an actor with Great Lakes Theater Company) reading the first two chapters of the book to the student body.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:37 PM, 03.02.2018

Heights educators swim with the sharks

A group of 20 CH-UH educators “swam with the sharks” on Professional Development Day in order to quality for opportunity grants courtesy of the Heights School Foundation (HSF).

In an event modeled after the reality-TV show “Shark Tank,” HSF offered grants of up to $500 directly to teachers, who had to face a panel of sharks who determined if their proposals were investment-worthy.

Each teacher who submitted a proposal had two minutes to make the pitch, and then 60 seconds of back-and-forth with the panel. In the end, a shark had to make an offer to fund the proposal.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:41 PM, 03.02.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education highlights 2-6-2018

FEBRUARY 6, 2018

  • Master facilities plan update

Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright were present. President James Posch was absent. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. Present for the master facilities plan presentation were Project Management Consultants LLC Senior Project Consultant Doug Myers, Bond Accountability Commission Vice Chair Debbie Herrmann, and Director of Business Services George Petkac. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

 

 

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:30 PM, 02.21.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 1-23-2018

JANUARY 23, 2018

  • Public Education Week
  • Lease for storage
  • Update on Top of the Hill project
     

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon, Treasurer Scott Gainer, Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley, and Cleveland Heights Director of Economic Development Tim Boland were also present. 

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:22 PM, 02.21.2018

CH-UH kindergarten and preschool registration begins soon

Kindergarten registration for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will begin on Feb. 26. Registration will take place by appointment only at the Delisle Options Center, 14780 Superior Road.

Registration materials will be made available at www.chuh.org under the "Families" tab. All materials must be completed and all documentation must be brought to Delisle at the scheduled appointment time. To schedule an appointment, call 216-371-7430.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 10:17 AM, 02.20.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 1-9-2018

JANUARY 9, 2018

  • Public comments
  • Tiger Team members of the month
  • Board approvals
  • Five-year forecast and state voucher program
  • Coventry building transfer

President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Dr. Talia Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 8:20 p.m. Prior to the meeting, an organizational meeting was held at which the new board members were sworn in and James Posch was elected President, Jodi Sourini was elected Vice President, and Beverly Wright was elected Secretary Pro Tempore.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.27.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 12-19-2017

DECEMBER 19, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Recognition of master teachers
  • Tiger Team members of the month
  • Board approvals for policies, field trips, donations
  • Middle school facilities approvals
  • Comments by outgoing board members

 

Board President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Dr. Talia Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 9:05 p.m. Prior to the meeting, a reception was held to honor outgoing board members.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 2:20 PM, 02.06.2018

BOE swears in three new members

Three new members of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education were sworn in during the board’s annual organizational meeting on Jan. 9, in University Heights.

Newly elected board members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Jodi Sourini each took the oath of office, which was administered by the district’s treasurer, Scott Gainer.

After the swearing-in ceremony, the board elected its president, vice president and treasurer pro tem for 2018. Returning board member Jim Posch is the board’s new president, and newcomer Sourini was elected vice president. Another returning board member, Beverly Wright, was chosen as treasurer pro tem, which means she would fill in for Gainer if he were absent from a board meeting. All three officers were unanimously elected.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:20 AM, 02.01.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 12-5-2017

DECEMBER 5, 2017

  • Issuance and sale of bonds
  • Library board of trustees interviews and appointment

Board President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch and Eric Silverman were present, as were as Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. Beverly Wright arrived in time for the interviews. The meeting opened at 6:15 p.m. and ended after 9:30 p.m., at which time the board went into executive session to discuss district land issues.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 11:48 AM, 01.30.2018

St. Paul's Cooperative Preschool seeks new home

St. Paul's Cooperative Preschool (SPCP) is about to lose its home of 61 years. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, that built the nursery school wing in 1956, has decided, as of Nov. 29, not to renew the preschool’s lease. Now, the cooperative is faced with the challenge of finding a new home for next year so that it can continue to serve its students. The co-op currently has 54 of its 58 possible student spaces filled. SPCP is rushing to find a place before January, when preschool registration begins for the 2018–19 school year.

SPCP’s top priority is to continue to offer affordable preschool access for the 2018–19 school year. "We are looking for a space, ideally located close to the current location [2747 Fairmount Blvd.] so that we can continue to serve the local community’s families and children," said Deb Binkofsky, director of the co-op."Research continues to come out about how important preschool can be for future academic success. If we were to close, which we are determined not to do, that would leave Cleveland Heights with just one cooperative preschool.” That school, Fairmount Cooperative Preschool, is currently at capacity, serving 44 students.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 7:43 PM, 12.07.2017

Oxford fifth-grader is Cavs All-Star Kid

Oxford Elementary School fifth-grader Mykaila Davis was the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kid for the month of November.

Davis’ Spanish teacher, Juana Cuervo, nominated her for the award, stating, "Mykaila is involved in Student Council, Spanish Club and Reading Challenge. Mykaila is kind and supportive to other students and also helps tutor them. She is dedicated to her classwork, is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and never gives up."

Davis was recognized at the Cavaliers' Nov. 17 game against the Clippers, at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:37 AM, 01.03.2018

Task force to propose 'wrap-around' services model for district's schools

From the outside, Oyler School in Cincinnati looks like an ordinary building, but from the inside, it’s “breathtaking,” according to Beverly Wright, CH-UH Board of Education member. She and four other members of the district’s Community In Schools Task Force recently visited Cincinnati for an in-depth look at “the Cadillac of wrap-around schools.”

Oyler gained national recognition for its groundbreaking embrace of wrap-around services: full-scale health clinics (including mental, dental and vision care), child care, enrichment programming, one-to-one mentoring, and other services that meet a vast array of student needs.

The CH-UH district began looking at this model two years ago, led by Teachers Union President Ari Klein and Superintendent Talisa Dixon. The task force, comprising more than 30 district staff, community members, and representatives from potential partner agencies, began meeting last spring and plans to present a proposal to the school board by April.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:39 AM, 01.03.2018

School superintendents will discuss their challenges to state policy at Jan. 29 forum

When it comes to public education, Ohio state policymakers have passed laws that shrink resources for local schools, diminish local control, impose limiting graduation requirements, reduce the evaluation of the quality of education in a school district to a letter grade, and attempt to standardize education and outcomes. 
 
As the policies have taken hold, their detrimental effects are being felt across the state. School leaders from diverse school districts are beginning to challenge mandates that work against the best interests of their students and diminish public education. 

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 1:42 PM, 01.02.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 11-6-2017

NOVEMBER 6, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Recognition of master teachers and
  • Recognition of Tiger Team members
  • Authorization to use consent agenda
  • Consent agenda
  • Jon Peterson scholarships
  • Noble National Register designation
  • Coventry building update
  • New materials for board members and the community

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. After an executive session that began at 6:30 p.m., the board reconvened in open session from 7:05 p.m. to 9:10 p.m., at which time the board returned to executive session.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 4:55 PM, 01.01.2018

Heights High swimming and diving teams host alumni meet Nov. 21

The Cleveland Heights High School swimming and diving teams will host their annual Black & Gold Meet on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Traditionally an inter-squad meet that serves as practice prior to the competition season, this year’s event will feature a celebration of the opening of the school’s new natatorium and a reunion for team alumni.

The meet will begin at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony and recognition of alumni, current team members, and participants in the youth program. Alumni are invited to swim in the meet, and non-swimming alumni are encouraged to attend, as well, as the program seeks to reconnect with former team members.

Members of the Heights Tigersharks, the Cleveland Heights Recreation swim team, are also invited to swim, as the 2017 Black & Gold Meet showcases the past, present and future of competitive swimming in the Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:39 AM, 11.13.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 10-17-17

OCTOBER 17, 2017

  • State report card analysis: part 2

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon, Treasurer Scott Gainer, and Allison Byrd of educational services. The meeting was called to order at 7:20 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 4:52 PM, 01.01.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 10-3-2017

OCTOBER 3, 2017

  • Board approvals
  • New plan to approve agenda items

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer.

Board approvals 

The board approved resignations and appointments, quarterly contracts, the summary of cash balances, and the payment of purchase orders.

They also approved the purchase of three buses in conjunction with the Ohio school bus-purchasing program.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 4:46 PM, 01.01.2018

Heights High hosts Dec. 21 open house and gospel concert

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites community members and alumni to visit the renovated Cleveland Heights High School on Dec. 21, 6–7 p.m., for a self-guided, open house tour.

Visitors will receive a map, and friendly docents will be stationed throughout the building to help guide the guests.

At 7 p.m., visitors are invited to attend a concert by Heights High’s Gospel Choir—an extracurricular club that performs traditional and modern gospel music at school and in the community.

Tickets for the concert, which will take place in the school’s auditorium, are $6.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:23 AM, 12.04.2017

District hosts national conference on minority achievement

Heights High seniors Jaylin Coleman, Jaylen Chesney and Christine Roberts were part of the 15-member Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) student leadership team that planned MSAN’s national conference. Hosted by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, the conference took place Oct. 18–21 at a Beachwood hotel.

The leadership team worked with Heights High’s three MSAN advisors, O’Dasha Blue, Shawn Washington and Nate Williams; the district’s Educational Services Department; and MSAN national staff, based in Madison, Wis. They selected keynote speakers, outlined the action planning process and icebreaker activities, and organized the talent show and college visits to Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Kent State University.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 12.04.2017

Canterbury students send care packages to wildfire victims

Fourth-grade students at Canterbury Elementary School were saddened to hear about the wildfires in California, and were shocked when their teachers told them 70 percent of the teachers and children at a fellow IB (International Baccalaureate) school in Napa, Calif., were now without homes. The students thought it would be nice to send them personal care packages, so they brought in toothbrushes, tissues, wipes, toilet paper, hand towels and other comfort items. 

The students sent handwritten notes of encouragement and two gift cards to the children at Bel Aire Park Elementary School. Students also brought in canned food and toys, which were donated to a local food drive and a women's shelter.

"Parents in CH-UH should be proud of the caring students we are all raising!" said Melissa Garcar, IB coordinator for the district.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:07 AM, 12.04.2017

Heights High names four National Merit Scholars

Heights High seniors Melanie Graham and Mary Jane Reinhardt have been named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists in the 2018 competition, and now have the opportunity to advance to the finalist level and qualify for National Merit Scholarships. William Hopkins and Rosalind Madorsky were named 2018 Commended Students, placing among the top 5 percent of the students who entered.

Nationally, 16,000 semifinalists were recognized, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, as were 34,000 commended students. More than 1.6 million students entered the National Merit Scholarship qualifying competition by taking the PSAT test in the fall of their junior year.

Graham is enrolled in Ohio’s College Credit Plus (CCP) and takes physics and English literature at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and statistics at John Carroll University. Her Heights High courses are AP calculus and symphony. She plays violin in the Heights High Symphony and the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, and mellophone in the marching band.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 9:34 AM, 11.02.2017

Gesu dedicates new STREAM center

On Sept. 10, Gesu Catholic School hosted a Mass of Thanksgiving and Dedication of the new Gesu Educational Center for STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) Learning. Pastor Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ, Principal Lucy Iemmolo, STREAM Coordinator Marjorie Gessner, and eighth-grader Annie K. Koppitch all spoke to the donors and guests about the new STREAM center and the opportunities it is providing the 630-plus students at Gesu.

The $1.1 million renovation project and STREAM initiative began about three years ago and, with the funds raised, the school began construction in fall 2016. The construction occurred in three phases, with phase one including a new science lab. In phase two, the largest renovation, the old religious education center transformed into a modern STREAM Center featuring two maker spaces, a classroom, two offices and a renovated chapel.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 9:37 AM, 11.02.2017

'Shrek, The Musical' is Heights High's fall show

The Heights High annual fall production, "Shrek, The Musical," takes place Nov. 2, 3 and 4, at 7 p.m., and Nov. 5, at 4 p.m.

The show, which will be presented in the renovated Heights High auditorium, will include more than 200 high school students performing in the two casts and the pit orchestra, and managing backstage operations. Nearly 175 elementary school students and 60 middle school students will sing in the chorus.

The show’s theme of friendship and acceptance is relevant to the lead performers, who spoke about the show recently. “The finale song ["This Is Our Story"] is really the theme of the show,” said senior Hannah Gilson, who plays Fiona, as does her twin sister, Sophie. “The chorus is ‘we are different and united, you are us and we are you, this is our story,’ That describes Heights High and the Vocal Music Department.” 

 

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 11:12 AM, 10.24.2017

Heights High's homecoming celebration embraces community

The Heights Homecoming Celebration, Oct. 6–8, featured a high-energy pep rally, a community parade down Lee Road, discounts at Lee Road businesses, a football game, a high school open house, and the annual Happy 5K & 10K Fun Run.

On Friday, Oct. 6, Heights High’s school day culminated in an all-school pep rally organized by student council. The event recognized all of the fall-season athletic teams and many clubs, and included an award presentation by American Family Insurance to senior football player Tyreke Smith, who has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game in January.

The homecoming court was presented to the student body, and a DJ from 107.9-FM emceed a dance off, playing popular music that had many students singing along and bleacher dancing.

A few hours later, the homecoming parade set off along a new route that started at Fairfax Elementary School and proceeded down Lee Road toward the high school.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 1:37 PM, 10.10.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education and Cleveland Heights City Council joint meeting highlights 9-25-2017

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

  • City council updates
  • Board of education updates

School board members present were President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright. CH-UH City School District Talisa Dixon was also present.

City council members present were Mayor Cheryl Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren, Michael Unger and Melissa Yasinow. City Manager Tanisha Briley was also present.

The meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. and adjourned 8:15 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 12:58 PM, 11.16.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 9-19-2017

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

  • State report card update

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, and board members Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The public meeting began at 7 p.m., after an executive session, and ended at 8:20 p.m.

State report card update

Allison Byrd, director of data, research, and assignment, explained the latest state testing results. She reviewed the tests that students are required to take. All students must now take the SAT or ACT to graduate.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 12:56 PM, 11.16.2017

Heights High principal welcomes students

On the third day of school, Cleveland Heights High School Principal Brian Williams invited students to grade level meetings in the auditorium. He introduced himself and talked about the new building as a symbol for a new era in Tiger Nation.

“The adults in this building are here to support and help you,” Williams said.

He spoke about the new building and the responsibility of attending school in a brand new facility that was provided by the community. 

“We have a collective commitment to treat this amazing place with respect and gratitude. What was given to us must be held as sacred space and treated with the utmost respect,” Williams said.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:09 PM, 09.29.2017

Fairfax Elementary School to host kindergarten open house on Oct. 11 for Heights families

Fairfax Elementary School invites all Heights families with rising kindergartners to attend an open house at the school on Oct. 11, 6–7 p.m.

Guests will have the opportunity to tour the school building, meet teachers and the principal, and learn all about what the school has to offer.

Current Fairfax families will also be on hand to answer questions.

If you cannot attend the Oct. 11 event and would like to schedule a tour, call 216-371-7480.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:57 PM, 09.29.2017

Tiger Shop reopens at Heights High

The Sept. 10 community open house at Cleveland Heights High School brought thousands of people to the school, and many of them made purchases at the Tiger Shop.

Laura Stuart-Lilley, transition coordinator at Heights High, and others who staffed the shop were swamped, with people purchasing T-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, key chains, book bags, teddy bears and more.

The Tiger Shop is located in a new space in the renovated front hall of the high school, and offers school supplies as well as Heights-themed gear. Students from marketing classes and the work lab operate the shop. They do the inventory and ordering, create the displays, and handle the sales transactions.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:26 PM, 10.01.2017

Thousands attend Heights High's grand opening

The community came together for the grand opening of Cleveland Heights High School on Sunday, Sept. 10. More than 4,000 people toured the newly reopened building, and their reactions were overwhelmingly positive.

The words “beautiful,” “amazing,” “fantastic” were heard time and again as alumni, parents, students and community residents wandered the halls. Two dozen teachers opened their classrooms to share their learning spaces with the visitors.

“Two thumbs up, all the way through,” said Bruce Tyler, a 1974 graduate and father of a Heights eighth-grader. His favorite spaces were the science rooms. “I know a thing or two about microscopes,” joked Tyler, a cyto-genetics technologist at University Hospitals.

Other visitors said they were impressed by the music spaces, the competition gym and swimming pool, and the career and technical education offerings.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 10:15 AM, 09.12.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 9-5-2017

SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

  • Recognitions
  • Board administrative policies
  • School events and superintendent activities
  • Middle school field trip
  • Before- and after-school programs
  • Change orders
  • Transportation
  • Routine finance matters
  • OSBA representation
  • Grants received
  • New board handbook

President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. and adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:02 PM, 09.20.2017

Original clockworks on view at Heights High

The original 1926 mechanism from the Heights High School clock tower is now encased and on display outside the main auditorium. It stands nearly 7 feet tall and weighs several hundred pounds. 

The Heights Schools Foundation (formerly CHHS Alumni Foundation) raised $100,000 from more than 350 donors to contribute to the restoration of the clock tower. Edward F. Crawford '57 and family donated a signature gift to help fund the restoration.

The clock tower was completely rebuilt, taken down piece by piece, laser scanned and milled to exact specifications. The new frame is made from composite material, painstakingly copied from the original pieces, and will last well into the future. The new clock mechanism is digital.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 2:36 PM, 08.31.2017

Boulevard Elementary School adds crossing guard

The Facebook post "Demand Safety For Our Children Now" asked readers to sign a petition in support of additional traffic safety measures around Boulevard Elementary School.  

Vanessa Fitzgerald, a volunteer with the Boulevard PTA, submitted the post to raise awareness and ask for a third crossing guard, a digital speed display, and increased police presence during morning school drop-off and afternoon school pick-up times. With 76 supporters, the petition, along with the PTA’s other efforts, has resulted in positive change.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:44 AM, 08.31.2017

Green Apple Project saves energy and money in first year

The Green Apple Project—a districtwide initiative to save energy and, in turn, money—recently completed a successful first year in the CH-UH City School District, saving energy through behavioral changes. These energy savings equated to a significant amount of financial savings.

Across all buildings, the district cut its energy use by 5 percent from April 2016 through June 2017. That represents a savings of nearly $85,000 in operating costs.

Much of the project's success can be attributed to the collective effort of district staff. In enacting the project, the district partnered with an energy coach from Brewer-Garrett, who implemented behavior changes for staff at each building, to save on energy consumption.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 4:54 PM, 09.03.2017

District shifts facilities focus to middle school renovations

Now that the transformation of Heights High is complete, the CH-UH City School District has turned its facilities focus to Monticello and Roxboro middle schools. The buildings, which house grades six through eight, will undergo renovations beginning in March 2018, to be completed in June 2019.

The renovations will ensure that the buildings operate more efficiently, with updates to the HVAC, electrical systems and technology. Each classroom will receive new air conditioning, flooring, ceilings and paint, in order to enhance the learning environment for students.

Monticella and Roxboro middle school students have been combined into one “Heights Middle School” on the Wiley campus in University Heights for the next two years. The two schools will remain separate for state reporting purposes, but they will share a number of classes and activities, including lunch, as one school.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.28.2017

Ribbon-cutting ceremony welcomes students back to renovated Heights High

On Aug. 18, administrators, teachers and staff, along with school board members and city officials from Cleveland Heights and University Heights, celebrated the reopening of the renovated Heights High with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on the building's front steps. The two-year-long renovation included refurbishing the original 1926 structure, demolishing the mid-century science wing, and building state-of-the-art educational and athletic facilities.

Heights High seniors and student leaders Peyton Marshall and David Matia cut the ribbon.

Eric Silverman, a member of the board of education, delivered the opening remarks, thanking the many individuals involved in the project's execution, and noting, "We now have, possibly for the first time in the last 100 years, the best building for a public—or private—high school in this region."

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:39 AM, 08.22.2017

Heights Homecoming will be a community celebration

On Friday, Oct. 6, the Heights High Tigers will face off against the Bedford Bearcats for Heights High’s homecoming football game. Behind the Friday-night gridiron lights will be the newly renovated high school, replacing the active construction zone that existed there for two years.

Many students, staff and community members have been waiting for the completion of the building—not just for the excitement of a new school, but also for the familiar sense of normalcy that the school’s return to the corner of Cedar and Lee roads will bring.

This year’s homecoming will offer a full weekend of Tiger Nation celebrations with families, schools, alumni and community partners. The weekend will be geared toward creating a unified community celebration, and a way to connect the schools, community and businesses in celebration of the opening of the new Heights High.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 2:42 PM, 09.01.2017