Schools

Milestones to offer autism training at Canterbury

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

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

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

Gearity receives Straight A grant

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

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

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

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

District announces new principal for Gearity Professional Development School

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

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

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

New administrative principal named for Cleveland Heights High School

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

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

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

District outlines next steps in CHHS project

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

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

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

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

Free summer meals for kids

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

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

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

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

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

Beaumont teams place in national robotics competition

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

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

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

Welcome reception June 19 for new school superintendent Dixon

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

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

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

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

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

JUNE 3, 2014

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

All board members were present.

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

Gearity principal resigns; search for new principal is underway

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

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

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

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

CH-UH school district receives financial reporting award

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

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

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

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

AFS students share highlights of their time at Heights High

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

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

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

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

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

Residents express concerns at Wiley swing space meeting

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

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

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

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

Heights High Hall of Fame inducts ten

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

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

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

Beaumont students medal in National Latin Exam

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

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

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

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

Heights High Robotics Club competes at nationals

The Heights High Robotics Club competed in the 2014 National Robots League Championship on May 16 and 17 at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea. In all, 51 teams from universities, technical schools and high schools from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico attended the competition, including Ohio University and the University of South Florida.

The Heights team, named for its robot, The X Factor, was one of only three teams to receive a perfect score on the documentation review portion of the competition, in which teams answer eight questions about the robot design and process.

X Factor team members are Sam Faul, Dylan Kuntz, Braxton Minor, Eliezer Regalado, James Smith and Chris Wallace.

“The judges said that all members of our team participated, conveyed knowledge of the design and building process and demonstrated strong presentation skills,” said Yvonne Schiffer, team advisor and engineering teacher.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 11:07 AM, 05.27.2014

CHHS athletic field groundbreaking set for May 27

The Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the new athletic stadium and field being constructed at Cleveland Heights High School. The event is open to all community members.

The ceremony will take place at the athletic field on Tuesday, May 27 at 5:30 p.m. Participants will include student athletes; school board members; Nylajean McDaniel, superintendent; Jeff Rotsky, head football coach; Nick Continenza, track coach; and Kristin Hughes, athletic director. 

Initial work on the stadium and field began at the end of April. During the month of May, the existing field surface and subsurface is being removed to prepare for installation of the new field and technology cabling that will run under it.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:29 AM, 05.27.2014

This week's CH-UH school district events focus on new facilities as it transforms Wiley space

The CH-UH City School district’s agenda for this week, May 20–27, includes two meetings on facilities (May 20 and 22), a groundbreaking ceremony for Heights High’s new athletic field, and a closing ceremony for Wiley Middle School.

On May 20, 7–8:30 p.m., the district will hold a community meeting regarding Wiley Middle School’s transition to swing space for Heights High. The community is invited to “discuss and learn more about the process that will transform Wiley into a temporary home for Heights High School students and staff.” The meeting will take place at Wiley Middle School, 2181 Miramar Blvd., University Heights.

On May 22, 6–8:30 p.m., the district will host the last in a series of five community meetings scheduled for the “pre-design portion of the high school project.”

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:19 PM, 05.20.2014

Former CH-UH superintendent Delisle to speak at JCU commencement

Deborah (Deb) Delisle, former superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and currently an  assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Education, is John Carroll University’s 2014 commencement speaker. The ceremony, open to the public, takes place on Sunday, May 18, at 11 a.m., on the Rodman Quad of John Carroll University in University Heights.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.13.2014

Heights High students celebrate 007-themed senior prom

Cleveland Heights High School held its senior prom on May 3, at the Manor Centre Complex in Euclid from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

The James Bond-themed gala was complemented by red, white and black decorations. Professional photographers documented the event, and students could take advantage of a free photo booth.

Students enjoyed appetizers while the DJ played music to welcome the incoming guests. Around 8 p.m., a buffet-style dinner, which included mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, pasta alfredo, chicken breast, and beef stew, was served.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:09 PM, 05.06.2014

CH-UH BOE endorses 'Principles that Unite Us'

The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) went on the record as supporters of the “Principles that Unite Us” statement during an April meeting. The statement was developed by a broad national coalition of educators and public education advocates to reaffirm the importance of a just system of “publicly funded, equitable and democratically controlled public schools.”

Nylajean McDaniel, superintendent, and Ari Klein, Cleveland Heights Teachers Union president, jointly asked the BOE to join the list of endorsers of the document.

McDaniel said that she was proud that the board took the position to support this message. “How many other communities are going to state so clearly what they believe in as our CH-UH Board of Education?” asked McDaniel, adding, “I especially like the section of the Principles that reiterates what I have endorsed for my entire career—that quality teaching must be delivered by committed, respected and supported educators.”

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:45 PM, 05.06.2014

CH-UH school district names Talisa Dixon new superintendent

On April 21, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School district announced that the board of education (BOE) had selected Talisa Dixon to become its next superintendent. Dixon is currently deputy superintendent: teaching and learning for the Saginaw (Mich.) Public School District. She will take over the CH-UH superintendent position from Nylajean McDaniel, who will retire on July 31.

At the time of the district’s announcement, terms of Dixon’s contract were being negotiated. The BOE is expected to vote on her contract during its May 6 regular board meeting. According to Angee Shaker, director of communications for the CH-UH district, the board anticipates that there will be a transition period during which Dixon will work with McDaniel, but a start date for Dixon has not yet been determined.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 2:43 PM, 05.05.2014

Roxboro Middle School establishes Confucius Classroom with May 5 ceremonial signing

The Confucius Institute (CI) at Cleveland State University announces the founding of its first Confucius Classroom at Roxboro Middle School in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District (CH-UH).

At 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 5, Nylajean McDaniel, CH-UH superintendent, and Haigang Zhou, CI director, will sign the official Confucius Classroom agreement at Roxboro Middle School (2400 Roxboro Road, Cleveland Heights). A Confucius Classroom plaque will also be presented to Roxboro Middle School, host of the classroom.

CSU’s CI and CH-UH schools have enjoyed a partnership for more than four years, and have worked together to build and strengthen the Chinese language and culture education within the CH-UH district. In 2013, CH-UH applied to become a Confucius Classroom.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 3:54 PM, 05.02.2014

Shakespeare at Heights High

The Heights High Drama Department produced William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream April 10–12. David Jurns, the show’s director and theater teacher, was thrilled with the school’s first drama production in recent memory. “The cast and technical crew did an excellent job,” he said. “The students corrected some of the minor problems the first night, then everything ran on auto pilot.”

Jurns was most impressed with the level of support that the cast and crew offered each other, and he said, “Their level of performance was superb.”

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 4:56 PM, 05.02.2014

CHHS stadium project kicks off April 28

The Cleveland Heights High School stadium construction project is set to begin in earnest, with site work commencing on Monday, April 28. The start of the project will suspend all public and school use of the field and track until the project wraps up in time for the first fall football game on Sept. 5.

During the month of May, the existing field surface and subsurface will be removed to prepare for installation of the new field and technology cabling that will run under the field. The goal posts and stadium scoreboard will be removed for the installation of the new field but will be reinstalled at the end of the project.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 11:10 AM, 04.25.2014

Elementary school playdates for children and families begin April 27

The PTA Council invites parents and families in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District to join in free playdates for incoming kindergarteners and students in grades K-5. The playdates will take place on the last Sunday of the month, 3:30–5 p.m., April through October, and will each be held at one of the district’s elementary schools.

The first playdate is scheduled for Sunday, April 27, at Boulevard Elementary School, 1749 Lee Road.

The idea for the playdates started with a third-grader who mentioned that he meets students from other CH-UH schools through sporting and summer activities. Because some of those students don’t go to his home school, he wished for a way he could see his friends from across the district. It got parents thinking, and the PTA Council decided to schedule the districtwide playdates at the seven elementary schools.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 10:33 AM, 04.25.2014

CH-UH school district names Talisa Dixon new superintendent

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) announced that Talisa Dixon has been named the next district superintendent. Dixon currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent: Teaching & Learning for the Saginaw Public School District in Saginaw, Mich. Dixon will take over the position of superintendent from Nylajean R. McDaniel, who will retire on July 31.

“We were very fortunate to have a selection of extremely qualified candidates, but in the end, Dr. Dixon was the clear choice for us,” said Ron Register, board president. “She has the experience and leadership abilities we were looking for to improve our instructional programming and tie those concepts in with our upcoming facility renovations. We are looking forward to Dr. Dixon’s leadership for years to come.”

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 5:47 PM, 04.21.2014

Roxboro Elementary authorized as International Baccalaureate World School

CH-UH City School District’s Roxboro Elementary School has been named an International Baccalaureate World School by the International Baccalaureate (IB), a nonprofit educational foundation. IB seeks to make the world a better place through education. The foundation offers learning programs around the globe at World Schools.

“Our son is fortunate to engage in a learning environment that stresses inquiry, discovery, and character,” said Anne Marie Hodges, a parent volunteer on Roxboro’s IB Leadership Team. “Liam is reflective and able to express his thinking critically. Our experience with Roxboro Elementary is more than we anticipated. We feel it is very important to support the teachers and emphasize the IB attributes at home.”

“I am immensely proud of what our Roxboro Elementary staff and families have achieved,” said Superintendent Nylajean R. McDaniel. “To carry out the preparation and planning required to become an International Baccalaureate World School, all while engaging and inspiring students, is truly an accomplishment worth celebrating.”

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.22.2014

Heights community loses beloved teacher

On Monday, April 7, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District lost Ms. Kate Smoker, a cherished friend, colleague and music teacher. Smoker was only 35 years old, and leaves behind her husband and two young children.

"Smoker was renowned for her drive and passion. She tirelessly worked to positively impact her students and ensure their success, both in and outside of the classroom," stated Superintendent Nylajean R. McDaniel. 

“Kate always recognized the very best qualities in her students and worked hard to get them to recognize their own gifts,” said colleague Ida Bergson, an art teacher who often collaborated with Smoker.

Julie Lustic, the physical education teacher at Canterbury, said, “As an integral member of the Creative Arts Team at Canterbury, [Ms. Smoker] was always up for a challenge. She brought her enthusiasm, creative spirit, and willingness to embrace projects outside her area of expertise to all our collaborations. We will miss her not only as a colleague but as a close friend and confidant.”

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 2:38 PM, 04.10.2014

CH-UH superintendent search narrowed to three finalists

After several hours of discussion on Tuesday evening, April 8, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education (BOE) narrowed its list of five semi-finalist superintendent candidates down to three finalists—Talisa Dixon, Zheadric Barbra and Fred Bolden. The chosen candidate will replace current superintendent Nylajean R. McDaniel, who will retire at the end of this school year.

“These were all very strong candidates; it was a struggle for us to narrow the list from five to three,” said Ron Register, board president. “We feel we have three really exceptional finalists to introduce next week to the staff and community."

During the week of April 14, each of the finalists will spend a day in the district touring schools, meeting staff and students, and completing a second interview with the BOE.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 2:24 PM, 04.10.2014

School facilities discussion comes to libraries in April

In three April community meetings, the architect team and members of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District staff will share updates about, and gather more information for, the design phase of the Heights High School renovation project.

The meetings, scheduled for April 10, 17 and 24, will each take place at a different Heights Library branch, to make them convenient for all, and Heights residents are invlted to attend any of the the drop-in sessions.

The meeting dates and locations are:

  • Thursday, April 10, 6–7:30 p.m., Coventry Village Library, 1925 Coventry Road
  • Thursday, April 17, 6–7:30 p.m., University Heights Library, 13866 Cedar Road
  • Thursday, April 24, 6–7:30 p.m., Noble Neighborhood Library, 2800 Noble Road
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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 11:00 AM, 04.14.2014

CHHS Alumni Foundation hosts annual pancake breakfast

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation will host its 18th Annual Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights High School cafeteria, 13263 Cedar Road.

Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast will benefit scholarship programs for Heights High seniors. The event is open to the public and will feature tours of Heights High.

"With major renovations planned for Heights in the next three years, this is an excellent opportunity to visit before construction begins," stated Eric Silverman, CHHS Alumni Foundation president.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 8:50 AM, 04.08.2014

District's Kindergarten Information Night set for April 10

Boulevard Elementary School, 1749 Lee Road, will host the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Kindergarten Information Night on Thursday, April 10, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Boulevard Principal Shelley Pulling and District Superintendent Nylajean McDaniel will welcome families to the event, and kindergarten teachers from each of the district’s seven elementary schools will be present, to provide information and answer questions. Activities and information to be shared at the Information Nights include:

  • Registration packets for incoming kindergarten students.
  • Virtual school visits: Each of the seven elementary schools will have a room that parents can visit, to learn more about their neighborhood school.
  • Heights Library resources: Library representatives will display books about kindergarten and resources for parents, and will have library card applications available.
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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 4:03 PM, 04.04.2014

Heights High spring concert season highlights senior soloists

The Cleveland Heights High Instrumental School Music Department (IMD) spring concert series includes eagerly awaited performances by senior soloists, a tradition that started in 1929. Ben Sperl and Josh Perelman-Hall showcase the breadth and depth of the music program at Heights High. Both are experienced musicians. 

On Friday, May 2, double bassist Ben Sperl will perform “Fantasy on Themes from La Sonnambula” by Giovanni Bottesini. He will be accompanied by the string section of the Heights High Symphony, under the direction of Daniel Heim.

“[Fantasy] is probably one of the most challenging pieces for bass,” said Sperl. He selected the piece because “it’s flashy and fun, and really melodic and singing with lots of fast notes.”

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 11:39 AM, 04.04.2014

School district shares Wiley site plans with UH officials

The CH-UH City School District Board of Education shared its preliminary plans for use of the Wiley Middle School property as “swing space” at a public meeting with University Heights City Council on March 17. The district plans to use the school to house Heights High students and then middle school students while the high school and Roxboro and Monticello middle schools are renovated.

Heights residents passed a $134.8 million bond issue in November 2013 to help fund the first phase of a master plan to renovate all of the district’s facilities. This included about $11.7 million for modifications to the Wiley property, to enable it to be used as swing space for the first phase of the plan.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 8:55 AM, 04.01.2014

Heights Auto Tech program provides hands-on learning

When Heights High assistant head custodian Chris Canter needed to repair the school’s utility cart, he called on the Heights High Auto Tech program. Juniors Michael Hancock and Maxx Marshall, both auto tech students, volunteered to do the work. Canter secured the necessary parts and a donation from Southeast Golf Car Company, and the students did the rest—with the guidance of their teacher Jeff Porter.

“The utility cart is basically a golf cart that carries cargo,” said Porter. “Many of the systems are the same as cars, with some differences of course.”

While the auto tech students repair about 20 cars a month, they occasionally work on golf carts.

The front end of the school’s utility cart was damaged, including the headlight. “We removed the damaged parts, replaced the light, wired it in and replaced the front end,” said Hancock.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 3:01 PM, 03.31.2014

Eighth-graders’ diorama project explores Anne Frank's story

Eighth-grade students from Anisha Mahone and Christy Lemanowicz’s English Language Arts (ELA) classes recently read The Diary of Anne Frank.

The Wiley Middle School students then created and presented visual displays, including dioramas, to their classmates, as part of a discussion of cultural biases, stereotypes and prejudices.

Anne Frank, who would later perish in a concentration camp, was roughly the same age as the Wiley eighth-graders when she wrote her diary, in hiding, during two years of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:07 AM, 03.31.2014

The Ohio Continuous Improvement Process at work

The CH-UH City School District is using the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP) to identify areas that need improving, identify academic goals and define the work needed to reach the goals. With the support of the U.S. Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Education developed the OIP. The process is a unified state system intended to improve academic achievement for all students.

Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs) are using the process in the classrooms to ensure that students learn the concepts outlined in the curriculum, also known as the Common Core Standards. Heights High math teachers Becky McDonald, Rachel Martinez and Joyce Bukovac teach six sections of mathematical decision making for seniors.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.31.2014

Postponed RH adult spelling bee set for April 2 at Wiley Middle School

The annual Reaching Heights Adult Spelling Bee has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 2 at 7 p.m., and will take place at Wiley Middle School, 2181 Miramar Blvd.

Teams of three will complete for the “Coveted Big Plastic Bee Trophy” in this community event, now in its 23rd year, that raises funds to support academic and music programs in CH-UH public schools.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.18.2014

Heights High student embarks on a year abroad

Heights High junior Emoni Brown-Bey always wanted to go to Japan. On March 16, with the help of the AFS Exchange Program and support of her family, Brown-Bey boarded a plane and set off for the Land of the Rising Sun. In Japan, she will live with her host family—a mother, father, and teenage sister and brother—in the eastern coastal city of Toyoshi.

Before she left, Brown-Bey said that while she was a little nervous about speaking Japanese, she was excited about the opportunity. “I am really interested in learning more about Japanese art, fashion and culture while I am there,” said Brown-Bey. She has spent the last several years researching and learning about Japan. A few months ago, she found an app that helped her to learn the Japanese language.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.18.2014

Heights High to host college fair on March 13

Cleveland Heights High School will host the 20th Annual Cleveland Northeast Suburban College Fair on Thursday, March 13, 7–8:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the fair is open to all local public, private and parochial school students. The fair will take place in the Heights High Social Room and cafeteria.

Students and their families are invited to attend, to meet guidance staff, admissions officers and alumni representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities and technical schools.

They will have the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of post-secondary programs, and the specifics of each school’s student life, programs and majors, post-graduate careers, admissions and financial aid.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 11:49 AM, 03.10.2014

CH-UH City School District launches facilities blog

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has launched a new Phase 1 Facilities Plan blog, www.createthefutureheightsschools.org, to communicate new developments during the facilities renovations process. 

"We’re so excited to share the progress of these extraordinary five years to come. We want the community to stay informed by checking our blog regularly—it’s even easier if you 'follow' the blog to get new posts e-mailed to you straight away. Readers can also contact us, ask questions and make suggestions for improving the blog," said Angee Shaker, director of communications and community engagement for the district.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.07.2014

CH-UH Board of Education's Ron Register wins state award

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has awarded Ron Register, president of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE), its Award of Achievement. The award is given to fewer than 2 percent of the more than 2,400 school board members in Ohio. Register has served on the CH-UH BOE for more than 10 years.

“OSBA couldn’t have made a better choice for their Award of Achievement than Ron Register,” said Nylajean McDaniel, CH-UH City School District superintendent. “Ron has been an immense asset to our district, and to this community, for years. He always lends a calm and thoughtful voice to our proceedings and few people have done more than Ron to help bring the diverse parts of our district together. We’re very fortunate to have him and we’re thrilled that he’s received this recognition.”

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 11:18 AM, 03.04.2014

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 1-14-2014

JANUARY 14, 2014

All board members were present.

Policy adjustments

Joseph Micheller, director of curriculum and instruction, led board members through a first reading of policy adjustments necessary to keep district policies consistent and up-to-date with state and federal policy changes. Adjustments are prepared for twice-yearly presentations to the board by NEOLA, a manager of documents for school districts.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.14.2014

World Beats Drum Festival at Canterbury School

March in Northeast Ohio? Many complain that this is their least favorite month, but Canterbury Elementary School will be hosting an event to shake off the winter blahs and welcome spring with a bang.

The World Beats Drum Festival will bring music, art and culture to the Canterbury stage, and is open to the community. Proceeds will support future arts programs at the school. 

The school has hosted a monthly community concert series for the past year. Organizers wanted to create an interactive event that would appeal to families. Co-organizer Gina Gillombardo spoke to a number of percussion groups in developing the series, and thought it would be fun to bring several groups together for one event.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:51 AM, 02.28.2014

Ruffing Montessori School's partnership with Geauga Family Farms

Ruffing Montessori middle school students have become involved in the local food movement through Ruffing’s curriculum, which encourages students to answer the question: Where does our food come from?

Ruffing students are encouraged to engage with the community through running their own micro-economy. Students have started seeds for local restaurants, helped create urban gardens, and sold handcrafted goods, such as artisan soaps and jewelry.

In 2012, the students began a partnership with Geauga Family Farms (GFF) and the Ruffing campus became a pick-up site for the farm’s community supported agriculture program (CSA).

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:27 AM, 02.28.2014

CH-UH middle school students in regional Power of the Pen competition

Monticello Middle School hosted the regional Power of the Pen Competition on Dec. 14. More than 200 seventh- and eighth-grade writers from Greater Cleveland participated in this district-level creative writing competition. The competition consisted of three rounds of writings, and students were given a “prompt” and 40 minutes to develop a creative story. Students who qualified for the regional tournament will write again on Saturday, March 15 at St. Joseph's Academy.

Teams from Roxboro and Wiley middle schools also participated in the competition.

“Hard work paid off, as teams were very successful at their first competition,” said Caitlin Gerber, Roxboro Middle School teacher and co-coach.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:23 AM, 02.28.2014

Heights Barbershoppers are best in the U.S.

The Heights High Barbershoppers scored a high note at the International Youth Chorus Barbershop Festival, taking first place in the nation and second place internationally in their division. Vocal music director Craig McGaughey, 13 students and several chaperones attended the competition on Jan. 31 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, Calif.

Unlike many of the groups competing, the Heights Barbershoppers perform without their director in front. “When the boys are on stage by themselves, they build more trust and confidence and they have to really listen to each other,” said McGaughey.

The fierce competition featured groups from all over the U.S. and Canada—many with up to 80 members. The judges were very impressed with the Heights vocalists. After the performance, the judges reviewed their scoring with the young men, citing areas where the group excelled and making suggestions for ways to improve.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:11 AM, 02.28.2014

District embarks on superintendent search

On Feb. 6, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) outlined its superintendent search process and timeline for “identify[ing] the next leader of the CH-UH school district.” According to the news release, “the search is underway for a new superintendent to replace Nylajean McDaniel, who previously announced that she will retire after the end of this school year.” 

The overall timeline set forth by the district commenced with an online community survey, open Feb. 6–19, which asked participants “to help identify the characteristics that are most important for a leader of the CH-UH school district.” In mid-February, the district held “prescheduled interviews” with community groups and staff, and one “open forum” community meeting, in order “to learn desired attributes and characteristics of the next superintendent.” In its release, the district characterized the search process as one that “will place a heavy emphasis on gathering community and staff input.”

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:02 AM, 02.28.2014

Next community meeting on the Phase 1 school facilities plan is Feb. 26

Community members are at work, suggesting ideas for the initial phase of redesigning Cleveland Heights High School. There is still time for you to join a community working group, or start one. Bring your ideas to the second community meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6–8:30 p.m. in the Heights High Social Room, 13263 Cedar Road.

Click here to see the list of community working groups. To join one, contact the group’s leader directly. If you have an idea for a new group that you would like to lead, e-mail Stacey Walker at st_walker@chuh.org.

Online, community members can participate in a “Create the Future” survey, and weigh in on various design features proposed for Heights High. A YouTube video guides the tour and the survey follows.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 1:25 PM, 02.25.2014

Facilities Accountability Committee (FAC) elects its officers

The Facilities Accountability Committee (FAC) met Feb. 11 at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education office to review its mission, elect officers, and define and assign roles for each member.

Heights voters approved a $134.8 million bond issue to fund the first phase of a school facilities master renovation plan last November. The FAC will oversee the planning, design and construction phases of the high school and middle school projects, making sure that the projects are on schedule and within budget.

The FAC will report to the school board on the outcomes of specific commitments. FAC members selected Seku Shebazz as chair, Jim Cull as vice chair, and Chanelle Truitt as secretary.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 12:57 PM, 02.25.2014