Schools

Heights High boys basketball team serves homeless men

More than a dozen Heights High boys basketball team members prepared and served breakfast to 250 homeless men on Nov. 19 at the men's shelter at 2100 Lakeside Ave., followed by a brief tour.

"This was a very humbling experience for these young men, but they took to it well with open arms greeting [all] as they came up in line to receive the breakfast the young men created for them," said Andre Scott, assistant varsity boys basketball coach/director of operations.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:39 PM, 12.02.2016

Mock graduation inspires Gearity students

Katrina Hicks, principal at Gearity Professional Development School, has big plans for her students. “Graduating from high school is an automatic expectation,” she said. “And going to college should be, too. I want that to be ingrained in them from a young age.”

She has brought the idea of college to her students, over the past three years, with a mock college graduation ceremony.

Third- through fifth-graders participated in a full-blown commencement at John Carroll University (JCU), complete with speeches, diplomas, and caps and gowns, on Oct. 6.

The third-grade students represented the Ohio University Class of 2030, fourth-graders were the Class of 2029 from John Carroll University, and fifth-graders were the Class of 2028 from The Ohio State University.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:26 PM, 12.01.2016

Student leaders work to close achievement gap

Six student leaders in Heights High’s Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) attended the organization’s national conference, Oct. 12–15, in Chapel Hill, N.C. The students brought back with them ideas and renewed energy to address the achievement gap between students of color and their white peers.

“The conference gives us a chance to learn from the successes of other districts, share our successes and get energized about the work,” said Shawn Washington, MSAN adviser. (Nate Williams and O’Dasha Johnson are co-advisers.)

The Heights High MSAN club has 60 members.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 11.30.2016

Four Heights students are National Merit Scholars

The National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Corporation has named Heights High seniors Charles Adams, Dorothy Pharis, Cody Radivoyevitch and William van den Bogert National Merit Scholars.

They were among the more than 1.6 million students who entered the NMS competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of their junior year.

Adams, a merit scholar semifinalist, has the opportunity to advance to the finalist level and qualify for National Merit scholarships. He is among 16,000 semifinalists in the U.S., representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Pharis, Radivoyevitch and van den Bogert were named commended scholars, placing among the top 5 percent of students who took the PSAT. About 34,000 commended students are recognized nationwide for their exceptional academic promise.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 11.30.2016

Gesu breaks ground for STREAM learning center

Gesu Catholic School broke ground on Oct. 31, beginning the second phase of its STREAM initiative. University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, Pastor Karl Kiser, Principal Lucy Iemmolo, Pastoral Associate Sr. Kathleen Flannery, Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland Susan Pohly, architects Steve Taylor and Jim Marshaus from Marshaus & Farkas, project managers Art Lindroas and Nancy Lindroas from Bolton Pratt Company, and students were among those present at demolition to prepare the space. 

Phase two of construction includes renovation of the north side of the school building, originally the convent for the parish, and most recently the Religious Education Center. The three-story space will be designed to enhance classroom learning in science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and mathematics, all dedicated to Gesu’s STREAM initiative.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:42 AM, 11.22.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 11-1-2016]

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

  • Opening of meeting
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public address
  • Booklet for district
  • Personnel
  • High school renovation and change orders
  • Surplus equipment, transportation, donations
  • Finance
  • Board president’s report
  • Legislative issues
  • Clock tower, high school musical
  • Upcoming meetings


Kal Zucker, board president, was absent.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 4:13 PM, 11.15.2016

Beaumont kicks off St. Angela Merici Speaker Series on Oct. 27

Join Beaumont School for the first installment of the 2016–17 St. Angela Merici Speaker Series, which examines critical topics and provides a forum for parents and community members to discuss them.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, Beaumont School will host Sandy and David Petrovic, co-authors of Expect a Miracle: A Mother/Son Asperger Journey of Determination and Triumph.

The Petrovics reside in the Cleveland area. Their mission is to educate the public about Asperger’s syndrome, and to encourage empathy, compassion and acceptance of self and others.

David Petrovic is a 23-year-old author, actor, singer, and motivational speaker. He graduated cum laude in 2015 with a B.A. in middle childhood education. At the Oct. 27 talk, David will explain the challenges and blessings of his Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly called Asperger’s) and will share the lessons he learned that changed his life, and could impact yours.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 1:37 PM, 10.24.2016

Engineering program grows with partnership

Heights High students in the Digital Electronics (DE) Engineering course are learning about digital logic by creating a random-number generator—think of it as an electronic way to roll dice. To begin the activity, each student received a kit that included a circuit board, sockets, chips, capacitors, resistors, LED lights and a switch. After three days of assembly work, everyone in the class had a working random-number generator. 

The DE course is one of two engineering courses offered this year as part of the district’s partnership with Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to using hands-on projects to increase the number of students who graduate with a background in science and technology. The Heights High engineering program is in its second year, following a restructuring that created the Project Lead the Way engineering courses.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:11 PM, 11.01.2016

CH-UH district recognized nationally for equity work

In September, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District was recognized in Washington, D.C., for fully reflecting America’s diversity at the highest levels of K–12 schools by equally including students of all backgrounds in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

The district, represented by Superintendent Talisa Dixon, was honored in large part as a result of its partnership with the nonprofit Equal Opportunity Schools, which has assisted the district in identifying ways to provide equitable academic opportunities to all students, especially in regard to access and support for minorities taking AP courses.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:09 PM, 11.01.2016

Nepali refugees transform district culture

A Noble Elementary School student excitedly announced that he was signing up for Boy Scouts and couldn't wait to “build anything—like build a car and go hiking and treasure maps and stuff. Cool.”

This may not sound remarkable until you learn that this boy was born in a refugee camp on the border of Bhutan and Nepal. His family moved to Cleveland Heights as part of a wave of Nepali refugees that have arrived over the past four years.

These refugees—originally from Bhutan but resettled into U.N. camps in Nepal in the 1990s—now comprise nearly 10 percent of the student population at Noble, and their presence has changed the culture of the entire building.

“We are multicultural in a way we never were before,” said Principal Rachael Coleman. “This has forced the kids to look at what it truly means to be different.

“It’s also forced me, and my staff, to look more closely at how we engage parents. If our Nepali parents can’t read, we have to rely on things like robo-calls. But if they don't have phones, we have to find ways to connect with them one-on-one.”

[Many of] the parents had no formal schooling and are illiterate in all languages. Their children, born as refugees, attended over-crowded “camp schools” taught by teens, so they, too, may be learning to read for the first time. Noble’s staff has had to scramble to meet the vast needs of this population.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:18 AM, 11.01.2016

OSBA honors Canterbury and board member Register

The Northeast Region of the Ohio School Boards Association (NEOSBA) honored Canterbury Elementary School and Ron Register, longtime CH-UH Board of Education member, on Oct. 5, at its 2016 fall conference in Wadsworth.

OSBA—which designates area schools that have received national recognition for success in educating students at a high level—recognized Canterbury Elementary School, under the leadership of principal Erica Wigton, as an Outstanding School.

Register was among the recipients of the NEOSBA Outstanding School Board Member Award, and was nominated for the OSBA Outstanding All-Ohio Board Member Recognition. He was also selected to [join] OSBA’s Executive Committee and Legislative Platform Committee.

This past spring, Canterbury was named a High Progress School of Honor by the Ohio Department of Education.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 10.25.2016

Noble Neighbors hosts panel on school levy

On Oct. 11, Noble Neighbors hosted a panel on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s proposed 5.5-mill operating levy, which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 109. The nonprofit neighborhood group invited pro- and anti-levy groups to participate, and gave each side the option to send as few or as many representatives as it wanted, to speak within set time allotments.

Ron Register, school board member; Lisa Hunt, Reaching Heights assistant director; and Jayne Geneva, CH-UH Lay Finance Committee chair, spoke for the pro-levy side.

Charles Drake, of the anti-levy Citizens Leadership Political Action Committee (PAC), spoke for those opposed to the levy.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:46 PM, 10.18.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights for Sept. 20, 2016 [online]

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

  • Board actions on policy, contract and personnel
  • Work session on special education programs


Board actions on policy, contract and personnel

The board approved a Standard-Based School Counselor Evaluation Policy on third reading; a contract with the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County/Inter-District Service Area for 2016–17, which entails three positions; and several routine personnel items.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:48 AM, 10.17.2016

Noble Neighbors to host Oct. 11 school levy community forum

Noble Neighbors invites the Heights community to learn more about the proposed school levy on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m , at Noble Road Presbyterian Church, 2780 Noble Road.

Voters will vote "yes" or "no" on a 5.5 mill CH-UH City School District operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Oct. 11 meeting will be an informational event at which Talisa Dixon, superintendent of schools, and other members of the district are invited to present their pro-levy position.

Also invited to speak are representatives of those who oppose the school levy.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 09.30.2016

Renovated high school on track for August 2017 completion

Renovation of Cleveland Heights High School, the first part of Phase 1 of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Master Facilities Plan, is on schedule for completion on or before Aug. 14, 2017, the first day of the 2017–18 school year for teachers.

The project includes renovation of the original 1926 façade, clock tower and auditorium, and newly constructed state-of-the-art classrooms, athletic facilities, arts spaces and common areas. The renovated building will feature more-efficient use of space, improved traffic flow and security, a new mini-theater and a community-accessible, competition-size swimming pool.

The building will be one of the most energy-efficient high schools in the nation. Features such as a geothermal heating and cooling system, a tight building envelope—made possible by new roofing, insulation and new energy-efficient windows—and LED lighting throughout the building will help the project achieve LEED Gold certification, a measure of energy efficiency.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:16 PM, 09.30.2016

Heights High musicians are swingin' in the 'Swing State'

For six Heights High jazz musicians, swing is the thing. A year ago they formed Swing State, a jazz combo, through the school’s small-group ensemble program. Within a few months, they were playing gigs at local establishments.

They continue to line up a few gigs, and they practice twice a week—once as an in-school session with Tim McDonald, jazz combo coach, and once at a member’s house.

Brett Baker, instrumental music director, is very proud of the students’ dedication to music. “The ensemble program encourages students to form these small groups,” he said. “And the guys in Swing State have taken the work to a very high level.”

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:48 AM, 09.30.2016

Heights High announces AP scholars

In spring 2016, Heights High juniors and seniors took the end of course exams for Advanced Placement (AP) courses. On Sept. 14, the CH-UH City School District, which offers 19 AP courses, announced that 53 students were recognized for their exceptional achievement on the AP exams:

National AP Scholar - Class of 2016: 
Regina Bellian.

AP Scholar with Honor - Class of 2017: 
Andrew Bell, 
Anya Chew, 
David Fleischer,
 Jeremy Kauffman,
 Faith Morris,
 Tladi Motsamai,
 Nina Yao; Class of 2016: 
Anna Crowley, Kirkland Pearce.

AP Scholar with Distinction - Class of 2017: 
Charles Adams,
 Akash Bartlett,
 William Van Den Bogert,
 Benjamin Schuster,
 Cody Radivoyevitch, Callie Swaim Fox; Class of 2016: 
Andrew Schellenberg,
 Emma Schubert, 
Allegra Steiger,
 Linden Wike, Graham Ball,
 Regina Bellian,
 Michael Beyersdorfer, Taylor Jones, Aviva Klein,
 Isabel Mcgaugh, Grace Peppler,
 Michelle Posch.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:26 AM, 09.30.2016

Gesu School moves full STREAM ahead

Thanks to leadership donations totaling more than $1.1 million, generously given by John and Mary Jane Breen; Kathleen Breen; Robert and Heidi Heltzel; Gerald and Helen McDonough; June McGinty, of the McGinty Family Foundation; and the Conway Family Foundation, Gesu Catholic School is introducing an innovative program, called Gesu STREAM, into its curriculum.  

"The goal of Gesu STREAM is to prepare students for a 21st-century world with a focus on science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math," said Lucy Iemmolo, principal of Gesu Catholic School.

Gesu joins a handful of area Catholic elementary schools that are implementing STREAM, a relatively new concept supported by the National Catholic Educational Association. Because of this program, students at the school are engaged at an earlier age in areas such as robotics, architecture, space exploration and technical design.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:11 AM, 09.30.2016

Anything Goes in Heights High production

Heights High students will perform the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes on Nov. 3, 4 and 5, at 7 p.m., and Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. “This is an amazing score,” said Jesse Lange, vocal music director. “It is a showcase for the jazz standards that are a true American artform.”

Two casts will perform this comedy love story that is set on an ocean liner in the 1930s. “This show has everything,” continued Lange. “Love, sailors, gangsters, show girls and, best of all, tap dancing!”

Choreographer Katie Zarecki is the tap dance coach. “We love the tapping, but we have discovered that it is harder than it looks,” said Carlisle Hall, who plays Hope Harcourt.

The lead actors agree on two things: They love learning to tap dance, and the fellowship and camaraderie among the cast makes the experience “really fun.”

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:14 AM, 09.27.2016

Heights High welcomed new students at Aug. 9 orientation

More than 200 new Heights High students attended the school's New Student Inauguration on Aug. 9. The full-day event featured workshops on how to develop organizational skills; recognizing how one perceives others; the value of being open to new experiences and people; how to use social media in a positive way; how to build strong, healthy relationships; and the effects of bullying.

The Reading and R.A.M.M. (Recording Arts Music & Media) organization led the workshops, and Heights High staff and student council volunteers helped guide the new students around the building.

Students also toured the school, ate lunch in the cafeteria, received their course schedules and had their school ID pictures taken.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:43 AM, 08.16.2016

School market program brings fresh food to CH-UH community

Starting in September, students, families and CH-UH community members will have the opportunity to receive free fresh produce and pantry items each month at two locations, as part of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank School Market program.

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, representatives from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and the food bank will kick off the market at Boulevard Elementary School (1749 Lee Road). The market will distribute food there throughout the school year, on the first Tuesday of each month.

Oxford Elementary School (939 Quilliams Road) will begin its market on Tuesday, Sept. 20, and it will be available on the third Tuesday of each month.

Both markets will be open 2:30–4:30 p.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 12:09 PM, 08.30.2016

School district offers free breakfast and lunch for all students

Starting with the new 2016–17 school year, all students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District may receive free breakfast and lunch each school day, regardless of family income level.

Every pre-kindergarten through grade-12 student in every district school is eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch daily, at no charge.

The district participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, and previously accepted free and reduced lunch applications to determine eligibility. Now, the district is able to provide free meals through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

AVI Fresh, the district’s food service partner, will continue to provide the meals.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 08.16.2016

Dixon joins AHA Cleveland board of directors

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Superintendent Talisa Dixon has accepted an invitation to join the local board of directors for the American Heart Association (AHA).

“It is a true honor to join the Board of Directors of the AHA’s Northeast Ohio affiliate,” said Dixon, who began her board service on July 1. “The AHA improves the lives of countless Americans by helping people quit smoking, learn CPR, live healthier and longer by avoiding heart disease and strokes, and so much more.

“At CH-UH, we emphasize community service and we also recognize that health is the cornerstone of successful education, so I cannot think of a more fitting organization with which to be involved.”

This year, through Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart—youth health initiatives organized and led by district staff, school staff leaders and the AHA—the CH-UH district raised $22,793.29. Students and staff across 10 schools within the district participated to keep their hearts healthy, and raised funds for heart and stroke research and education.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 5:40 PM, 07.29.2016

Heights High senior Dolman to serve on state teen board

Heights High senior Lexxie Dolman has been invited to join Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Teen Ambassador Board.

Teen Ambassador Board members will advise the attorney general's office (AGO) on issues relating to teens, and work with their peers to develop solutions to those concerns. Ohio high school students who applied and were selected to join the board will be placed into small groups and advised by an assistant attorney general, according to the AGO.

The students will meet twice a year in Columbus, and will present their work to senior AGO officials at the end of their term.

Dolman said the particular issues she wants to delve into are hate crimes, teen violence and gender equality.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 5:34 PM, 07.29.2016

Beaumont School senior selected for ocean research program

Crista Kieley, a member of Beaumont School’s class of 2017, will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2016 expedition. As an Honors Research Program student, Kieley will join the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus in August as they explore the California Margin, a broad area within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that remains largely unexplored and is crisscrossed by seismically active faults.

Kieley is among 22 students and 17 educators from around the world who were selected by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate in the 2016 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition. OET, a nonprofit founded by Titanic shipwreck discoverer Robert Ballard in 2008, explores the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics and chemistry, while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation.

 

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:48 AM, 07.19.2016

New RoxEl parent group builds community

“We started with the strong foundation that is already the Roxboro Elementary community, and we’re building it upwards and outwards,” said parent Jennifer Holland of Building Rox, a new subcommittee of the RoxEl PTA.

When Coventry Elementary School shut its doors a decade ago, the building’s students were divided among Boulevard, Fairfax and Roxboro elementary (RoxEl) schools. Those attending RoxEl arrive primarily by bus and live far outside the bounds of this “neighborhood” school. Because many of the school’s parents are not present at drop-off or pick-up time, they may feel less informed about school issues and less connected to the school community.

That’s where Building Rox comes in, as a PTA-supported organization run by committed parents whose mission is to facilitate a safe, inclusive, community-focused environment for all families through outreach and programming.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:38 PM, 07.01.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 6-7-2016]

JUNE 7, 2016

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public comments
  • Strategic Plan Goal 1
  • English textbook
  • Construction change orders
  • Playground improvement
  • Special education transportation
  • Donations
  • Finance
  • Board president’s report  
  • Resolution to state board of education


All board members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 6:38 PM, 06.19.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS – Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 5-10-2016]

MAY 10, 2016

All board members were present.

Middle school programming

The board heard a presentation on the master facilities education programming for middle school planning. Five goals of the strategic plan centered on the district mission statement: student outcomes; educational approaches; parents and community; valued professionals and a culture of excellence; and operational resources. School visits and conference calls were made to the Bedford, Fairview, Plain Local, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Wadsworth and Westlake school districts, as the board is considering a fifth–six grade and seventh–eighth grade middle school structure for Monticello and Roxboro middle schools. The other districts have this structure, which the district can evaluate.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.19.2016

Three CH-UH schools among first recipients of Momentum Award

The Ohio State Board of Education has named Fairfax Elementary School, Monticello Middle School and Roxboro Middle School as recipients of its new Momentum Award.

The award recognizes those [schools] with all A’s on value-added measures from their 2014–15 Ohio School Report Cards, exceeding expectations for student growth for the year.

This is the first year the Ohio State Board of Education has granted the award, making the three Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools among its inaugural class of recipients. This year, 165 Ohio schools received the Momentum Award.

“We are very excited that Fairfax, Monticello and Roxboro Middle are among the first to win this award,” said Talisa Dixon, CH-UH City School District superintendent.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:37 AM, 06.02.2016

Heights students win Stop the Hate awards

A Heights High senior English class and Henry Pentecost, a Roxboro Middle School eighth-grader, were among the winners in the Maltz Museum’s annual Stop the Hate contest.

Donna Feldman’s second period senior English class won first place in Youth Sing Out, the songwriting portion of the competition.



Pentecost was a finalist and overall second-place winner in the eighth-grade division of the competition’s essay contest. He is a student in Zakiyyah Bergen’s social studies class.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 12:02 PM, 05.17.2016

State honors Canterbury for student performance

For the second year in a row, the Ohio Department of Education has recognized Canterbury Elementary School as a High Progress School of Honor. Canterbury is one of only four schools in Ohio to be so designated.

The award is given to schools where more than 40 percent of students come from economically disadvantaged homes, yet show the highest gains in math and reading proficiency, based on 2014–15 Ohio Report Card data.

“We could not be more proud of the students, teachers and staff members at Canterbury for receiving this well-deserved recognition,” said Talisa Dixon, Cleveland Heights-University Heights school superintendent. “This is a significant achievement that I hope our entire community will celebrate. We look forward to building on this success and continuing to serve the students in our community.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 11:21 AM, 05.17.2016

Fairfax alumni invited to June 3 centennial celebration

Fairfax Elementary School will host a centennial celebration on Friday, June 3, to top off its year-long study of the past 100 years.

To commemorate the opening of the original school building in the fall of 1915, students and staff have focused on one decade each month of this school year. Morning announcements contain a historical fact, students dressed in costumes from their favorite decade for the Century Parade on Halloween, alumni have made classroom presentations, and each era's music is played in the lunchroom on Music Mondays.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 11:31 AM, 05.31.2016

Gearity broadcasts the news

Gearity Professional Development School has its own weather boy. That’s right. He’s Fin Mouncey, a first-grader, and he opens his daily forecast with: “Good morning. This is Fin and I’m still your weather boy.”

Mouncey is not simply reading the morning announcements over a public address system, as is common in most elementary schools. Instead, he stands in front of a green board (a bright green sheet hanging in Principal Katrina Hicks' office) and points to invisible icons of the next day’s projected high and low temperatures, while being filmed for his brief segment in what will become a two- to three-minute video newscast. (See the videos at http://www.chuh.org/morningannouncements.aspx.)

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 4:23 PM, 05.31.2016

Fairfax Elementary students run special store

There’s a new store in town. It’s called the Tiger Mart Express, and, staring in February, Fairfax Elementary School students have been able to visit it in their lunchroom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, to purchase school supplies. Here’s the thing that makes this shop special: it’s managed and run by students in special-needs classes, many of whom have multiple physical handicaps.

The primary curricular focus for Fairfax’s special education classrooms is “functional life skills.” The students learn how to communicate with others, how to navigate their neighborhoods, and how to perform basic tasks, such as handling money, and making and responding to requests.

The brainchild of speech language therapist Marilyn Gardner, the store enables students “to apply the skills learned in the classroom to a functional and real-life situation. Students will utilize math, reading, organizational and overall communication skills.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 4:36 PM, 05.31.2016

Shop and sell at the Canterbury community yard sale on June 4

Spring cleaning means finding no-longer-needed stuff that could become great finds for someone else.

The Canterbury Elementary School PTA has an ideal outlet for unwanted items—its community yard sale. On June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., sellers can earn cash and shoppers can seek out treasures. A bake sale is also planned, and possibly tours of the school. If the weather is bad, the sale will move inside to the gym.

Booth registration is open to the public until May 25. A space with a table and chair is $30; space with just a chair is $25. Sellers can bring their own tents, tables or racks, as space permits. An optional donation pickup for unsold items will be available after the event

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:32 AM, 04.30.2016

Midwest tour stops at Urban Oak

Creative play, artistic expression, individualized learning and nature-based experiential learning are buzzwords used to describe Urban Oak School. This small, independent school, inspired by these Waldorf education principles, is located in the former Coventry Elementary School building.

Urban Oak has been open in Cleveland Heights since 2013, but there has been local interest in the Waldorf philosophy for more than 20 years.

On Feb. 21, Urban Oak hosted Judy Erb, a regional leader of the Waldorf School movement. As part of a Midwest tour, Educating the Whole Child, Body, Mind & Soul, Erb was eager to share stories of the growing educational movement, as well as how the Waldorf approach to learning affects a child’s life.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.30.2016

Students and staff attend Heights High topping out ceremony

Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS), at the corner of Cedar and Lee roads, has been topped out.

On March 22, 13 students, two teachers, a guidance counselor, two board of education members, Principal Zoraba Ross and Superintendent Talisa Dixon signed the final, ceremonial white beam before it was raised and placed at the top of the building.

The students who attended the ceremony were student council representatives; the Superintendent’s Cadre, students who meet regularly with Dixon; and members of the video production class, who recorded the event.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:23 AM, 04.30.2016

Equestrian athlete headed to nationals

Madison Rheinheimer, a Heights High freshman, will compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Competition April 20–24 in Lexington, Ky. To qualify for the national competition, she placed in the top three at several regional competitions.

Rheinheimer is a member of the Double Deuce Farm Equestrian Team in Painesville. At nationals, she will compete in an individual event and two team events. Her individual event is the flatting competition, in which she will be judged on her performance riding the horse at a walk, trot and canter, and on her body position in the saddle. As a team member, she will compete in both the flatting and jumping competitions. The jumping event requires the rider and horse to clear eight two-foot-high fences.

Horse riding has been part of Rheinheimer's life for as long as she can remember. “I have been riding since I was eight years old,” she said. Both of her parents work in the equestrian field, and her father is one of her trainers.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:59 AM, 04.19.2016

CHHS alumni host April 17 pancake fundraiser

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation will host its 20th annual Scholarship Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

With Heights High under construction, the breakfast will take place at the temporary Heights High on the Wiley campus, at 2181 Miramar Blvd. in University Heights. This event is open to the public, and will feature tours of the building, to show how it is serving as Heights High’s temporary home.

Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast will benefit scholarship programs for Heights High seniors. Last year, more than 500 alumni, students, families and friends enjoyed all-you-can-eat pancakes.

Admission is $7 for adults, and $5 for kids and seniors.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:25 AM, 04.11.2016

Communion of Saints School hosts April 6 Kindergarten Information Night

Communion of Saints School will host a Kindergarten Information Night on Wednesday, April 6, 6–7 p.m., for parents of children who will be starting kindergarten in fall 2016. Child care will be provided.

Parents will have an opportunity to learn about the school’s kindergarten program, daily curriculum, outstanding student achievements and enrichment programs, and to find out if students are eligible for an EdChoice scholarship. 

Communion of Saints School is a welcoming, inclusive community, rooted in Gospel values, nurturing spirituality, academic success and social responsibility. The school has served thousands of families, providing a faith-based education, combined with tradition and service. Its goal is to enrich students’ lives by challenging them to excel in school and to value and respect their community and family.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:38 AM, 04.04.2016

Teachers and supporters protest school district plan to cut staff

Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District teachers, students and community members began "informational picketing" outside of the CH–UH Board of Education building on March 21, to draw attention to the administration's proposed school staffing cuts, to take effect before the beginning of the 2016–17 academic year. The cuts would eliminate 52 staff positions: 17.5 teacher positions at Heights High; 12.5 teacher positions between Roxboro and Monticello middle schools; 15 teachers within the seven elementary schools; plus a total of seven administration and classified (non-teaching) positions.

In a March 18 news release announcing the cuts, the district stated that the reduction in force (RIF) is due to declining student enrollment, and is necessary to bring staffing numbers in line with actual and projected enrollment, saving the district $3.5 million annually in its operating budget.

According to the district, over the last nine years 900 fewer students have enrolled in district schools, with enrollment dropping from 6,300 in 2007 to 5,400 in 2016. Independent enrollment projections cited by the district suggest that district enrollment will decline by an additional 800 students over the next 10 years.

The picketers showed up each morning, Monday, March 21, though Thursday, March 24—the last day school was in session before spring break.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:47 AM, 03.29.2016

Heights Arts hosts music honor society

Heights Arts will host the Second Annual Tri-M Benefit Recital on April 13, starting at 7 p.m., in its gallery at 2175 Lee Road. The event will feature the talents of Cleveland Heights High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter. The 16 members will perform a varied program of light classical and popular music selections, and guests can also enjoy bake sale items throughout the program. The event is free, but goodwill donations will be appreciated.

Tri-M is a national musical honor society under the auspices of the National Association for Music Education and Heights High’s chapter is open to eligible high school juniors and seniors. All inductees must be exemplary and dedicated performers of instrumental or vocal music, and must also demonstrate leadership, scholarship and willingness to serve their community.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:46 PM, 03.28.2016

CHHS empowers students to succeed in AP courses

Heights High offers 19 advanced placement (AP) courses, which provide college-level curriculum and credit. Minority students, however, have been underrepresented in AP courses both nationally and at Heights High.

“We know that so many of our students have the potential, but need encouragement and additional support,” said Alisa Lawson-McKinnie, assistant principal at the high school.

To capitalize on a wealth of student potential, and to increase minority student enrollment in AP courses, the district recently formed a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS). The organization provides data analysis and suggests best practices that provide equitable academic opportunities to all students.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:20 PM, 03.28.2016

Rockin’ the tie at Heights High

Heights High hosted a Tie Day on March 3, encouraging students and staff to wear a tie in school. Some students came to school wearing a tie and some stopped by the Tie Station before school to pick out a tie or learn how to tie the classic fashion accessory.

The Tie Station featured nearly 100 donated ties. Several staff members were on hand to help students with the Windsor knot.

The idea for Tie Day was suggested by senior Darwin Scott. “I love to wear a suit and tie,” he said. “It makes me feel confident and proud.” Several weeks ago, he suggested to Principal Zoraba Ross that everyone should wear a tie for a day.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:23 PM, 03.28.2016

All-district student art show on view at Lee Road Library

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District art show will feature more than 300 works of art created by CH-UH students in grades K–12. The Lee Road Library will host Creative Heights, April 8–29. The opening reception will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 6–8 p.m., with an award ceremony at 7 p.m. that evening.

Art, grouped by school, will be displayed throughout the library complex on both the east and west sides of Lee Road. Each school is represented by 20 pieces, selected by the certified art teacher from work created in art class.

A jury of community artists will serve as judges for the show. Three student artists from each school will receive first- and second-place, and honorable mention, awards. There will be three Best of Show awards—one each for an elementary, middle and high school student.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:00 PM, 03.28.2016

Students excited to raise trout in the classroom

Fourth- and fifth-graders at Communion of Saints Catholic school are experiencing an impressive environmental education program, Trout in the Classroom (TIC).

TIC gets students involved in raising trout from eggs while also monitoring tank water quality and studying stream habitat. Through this program, the students learn to appreciate water resources, foster a conservation ethic, and understand and respect ecosystems.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:18 PM, 03.28.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 3-1-2016]

MARCH 1, 2016

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public address
  • Strategic plan update
  • District calendar
  • Field trips
  • Revival of Heights High’s student newspaper
  • Facility design documents
  • Soil issue requires change order
  • Lease agreement
  • Donations
  • SuperKids
  • Legislative issues
  • James Cippolletti


All board members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 3:11 PM, 03.18.2016

Heights High hosts Northeast Suburban College Fair on March 17

Cleveland Heights High School will host the 22nd annual Cleveland Northeast Suburban College Fair on Thursday, March 17, 7–8:30 p.m., in the gymnasiums at its Wiley campus, 2181 Miramar Blvd., in University Heights.

The College Fair is open to all local public, private and parochial students, and admission is free.

Guidance staff, admissions officers and alumni representatives from more than 100 colleges, universities and technical schools will be at the fair. Students and their families are invited to learn about student life, programs and majors, careers, admissions and financial aid.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:06 PM, 03.11.2016