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

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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

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education and city councils joint meeting highlights [Jan. 25 & 28, 2016]

JANUARY 25, 2016

Joint meeting with Cleveland Heights City Council

School Board Member James Posch was absent.

School facilities construction update

The construction of the high school is on schedule and within budget. Students will move from the Wiley school building to the renovated high school in the fall of 2017.

All middle school students will move to the Wiley building in the fall of 2017 when construction at Roxboro and Monticello middle schools begins. The construction manager and company (Turner Construction Company) have been chosen. Construction crews will work at both Roxboro and Monticello simultaneously.


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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 10:06 PM, 03.06.2016

Heights Barbershoppers win excellent rating in international competition

The Men’s Barbershoppers, a Heights High vocal music group, sings old-time barbershop music with a bit of a modern flair. The a cappella music is in four-part harmony, and the performers use theatrical movements to accentuate the lyrics. In late January, the group attended the International Barbershop Harmony Society’s Mid-Winter Convention in Reno, Nev.

The convention drew top-notch barbershop groups—adults, college singers and other high school groups—from all over the globe. For high school attendees, the event offers exposure to seasoned and award-winning singers who can offer valuable feedback and both formal and informal instruction.

The Heights students attended master classes with experienced barbershoppers from Westminster Chorus, an international champion ensemble, and received feedback from judges during the competition. The Heights Barbershoppers earned a rating of Excellent for their performance of three songs.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 2:25 PM, 02.29.2016

Families invited to March 2 kindergarten information night and March 9 open house

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will host its annual kindergarten information night on Wednesday, March 2, 6:30–8:30 p.m., at Noble Elementary School, 1293 Ardoon Street in Cleveland Heights.

Representatives from each of the district’s seven elementary schools will occupy a classroom where parents can meet CH-UH kindergarten teachers from their school and ask questions about the program. Parents will also receive information about before- and after-school programs, student services, food service and transportation.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 10:25 AM, 02.23.2016

Tigers athletes ink letters of intent

On Feb. 3, National Signing Day, 15 Heights High senior student-athletes officially announced the names of the colleges they will attend after graduation. National Signing Day is the first day that Class of 2016 high school athletes can sign binding letters of intent committing to college athletic programs.

Family, friends and team members attended the ceremony in support of the athletes, as did Talisa Dixon, superintendent, and Felisha Gould, assistant superintendent.

Mac Stephens, head football coach, Pat Gleba, assistant boys soccer coach, and Jeremy Holmes, head boys basketball coach, spoke proudly about the athletes.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 10:20 AM, 02.16.2016

Roxboro eighth-graders celebrate hope over hate

Hate is a powerful force, capable of transforming people’s lives and defining the fate of entire nations. But, as Roxboro Middle School’s eighth-graders recently learned, hope is even stronger.

Through an interdisciplinary unit created by Zakiyyah Bergen, humanities teacher, and Nicole Clouser, instrumental music teacher, students at the school spent six weeks exploring the role of music in Jewish tradition before, during and after the Holocaust.

From readings in their language arts and social studies classes to musical compositions in their orchestra class, students were exposed to a sometimes overlooked piece of history: the role music played in fostering community, resilience, resistance, and especially hope throughout World War II.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 10:51 AM, 02.01.2016

Noble mentoring program provides role models for boys

According to, boys who lack positive male role models become four times more likely to live in poverty, face an increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse, and have more trouble academically.

Harder to measure is the effect of positive male role models on those same boys. How can one quantify the bad things that don’t happen?

Beginning in January at Noble Elementary School, 36 fourth- and fifth-grade boys were matched with mentors. Noble's Gents to Gentlemen Mentoring Program is a result of Principal Rachael Coleman’s vision for a mentoring program for boys. In a letter to rising fourth-grade parents, Coleman wrote, “The school feels that your child will greatly benefit from having another positive male adult role model in his life and hopes that the relationship will lead to increased academic performance, self-esteem, and emotional development.”

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 1:38 PM, 01.31.2016

Learning comes alive in Gearity Maker Space

Picture a group of young scientists collaborating on a high-tech design challenge: they huddle around computer screens, discussing and designing scientific tools that will be printed out on 3D printers and then tested for accuracy and reliability.

Sounds like something going on in a prestigious high school lab, or maybe at an engineering college, right?

Wrong. This is the Maker Space at Gearity Professional Development School, where children as young as five are mastering technology and manipulating equipment that many adults have never seen.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:37 AM, 01.31.2016

Celebrate your neighborhood school on Feb. 17

The Heights Coalition for Public Education is sponsoring a community rally on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m., at each of the CH-UH school district’s seven elementary schools. The public is invited to join in the brief but heartfelt thank-you to district teachers and staff, and celebrate students and their education.

Billed as “More than a Score,” the event will recognize that Ohio’s standardized tests do not measure education quality, nor should they define a community or its children. Participants are encouraged to express what they value about our schools and thank teachers for their work.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 8:57 AM, 01.31.2016

Heights artists win awards in Cleveland Clinic competition

Four Heights High students won awards in the Cleveland Clinic eXpressions Art Competition: sophomore Jenna Dent and senior Michelle Posch won red ribbons, and sophomore Londyn Crenshaw and senior Kelly Moore won white ribbons.

The eXpression program invites high school artists to use art to explore science and medicine by translating research conducted by Cleveland Clinic high school interns into artistic interpretations of the science. A panel of art and science professionals used four criteria to evaluate the art: interpretation, presentation, creativity and initiative.

Dent, who painted an image of a heart inside a human chest with blue birds surrounding the body, said, “The blue birds represent happiness leaving because patients often suffer depression and anxiety.” Her piece was inspired by research titled Patient Awareness of Heart Failure.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 9:46 AM, 01.26.2016

Options 'ambassadors' to visit English school

Three Heights High Options Program students, Darian Cruz, Cherronn Hodges and Nathan Jolly, held a Skype meeting in December with three students at the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, England.

It was one of many preparation activities for the Options students, who plan to visit the English school Feb. 19–26.

Brian Williams, coordinator of alternative programs and leader of the Heights High Options Program alternative school, is organizing the trip, to provide African American male students with an international experience that he hopes will significantly impact their lives.

The Options “global ambassadors” will represent all Options students when they travel to the South London school.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 4:38 PM, 01.18.2016

Communion of Saints School to host Jan. 31 community open house

Communion of Saints School, a ministry of Communion of Saints Parish, will host a community open house on Jan. 31, from noon to 2 p.m. The school is located at 2160 Stillman Road, in Cleveland Heights.

Communion of Saints School, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence that educates children in grades K–8, creates a learning environment where each student’s success is encouraged both in and out of the classroom. By providing an excellent faith-based education, the school’s goal is to enrich the lives of all students by challenging them to excel in school and to value and respect their community and family.

“We strive to teach the importance of service and giving back to the community at an early age,” said Chrystal Manos, principal.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 10:43 AM, 01.14.2016

Roxboro Middle School students walk for water

A child’s curiosity has the power to change the world.

That’s what happened in a case that started in the aisles of Whole Foods grocery store, setting off a chain of events that would eventually wind its way through the classrooms of Roxboro Middle School and end up in a village in South Sudan.

Years ago, Rosemary Pierce’s children were curious about an employee at Whole Foods. His accent was heavy and his skin so dark it looked like midnight. After hearing her children’s repeated questions, she suggested they ask him directly, and a conversation—and a friendship—began. The Pierce family listened to Akol Madut’s story of being one of Sudan’s Lost Boys, the child soldiers of the 1980s, left parentless and homeless during that country’s brutal civil war. Madut, now 35, spent months wandering the African countryside in search of shelter, before eventually becoming a commander in the rebel army in charge of 6,000 young boys. He was 12 years old.

After a dramatic escape coordinated by the International Red Cross and the U.S. Army, nearly 16,000 Lost Boys (and 300 Lost Girls) arrived in America 15 years ago. Madut was the first of 37 to settle in Cleveland.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:45 AM, 12.31.2015

Construction begins at Heights High

The exterior construction phase has begun and interior demolition is nearly complete at Heights High at the corner of Cedar and Lee roads.

As of mid-December, the north wall of the competition gymnasium, near the football stadium, was standing, and cement footers for the other walls had been poured. Construction of the wrestling room, kitchen and cafeteria are also in the early phase.

Interior demolition is progressing and nearly complete. In the fourth-floor vocal music area, the wall between the two rooms has been removed, along with most of the plaster that covered the clay tile support walls. The wood floors are being prepared for removal, as the wood was too damaged to be salvaged.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:40 AM, 12.31.2015

Community is invited to the Fairfax Cabaret

There is nothing quite as endearing as watching eager schoolchildren take the stage to show off their carefully rehearsed routines in their school talent show. Fairfax Elementary School knows how important such an event can be in the life of a child, and takes its talent show to a whole new level with the Fairfax Cabaret.

Fairfax students, families, teachers and alumni will take the stage at Heights High (Wiley campus) on Friday, Jan. 22, to sing, dance, flip, play instruments, recite poetry and perform original acts. The 2016 cabaret, which coincides with the school’s 100th anniversary, will feature highlights from the school's past 100 years, which the students have been learning about since August.

The event is a collaboration between the school’s PTA, which organizes the pre-show dinner and runs various raffles throughout the night, and music teacher Tamar Gray, who works with student groups outside of school hours for two months in preparation.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.31.2015

Young Heights High diplomats win awards in Model U.N.

Nine Heights High students were delegates in the Autumn Model United Nations (U.N.) Conference, and three students won awards.

Juniors Anya Chew and Ben Schuster won the Excellent Delegation Award and freshman Georgina Jolivette won the Position Paper award.

Each delegation represented a country in the U.N. Chew and Schuster earned the Excellent Delegation award for their research and preparation, which they demonstrated through written and verbal presentations, and for their ability to compromise during negotiation. They represented Spain and presented resolutions in the Security Council promoting free trade in the South China Sea and supporting monetary payments for refugees in Yemen. Both resolutions were passed by the member nations in the council.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 12:16 PM, 12.30.2015

Meet the AFS exchange students at Cleveland Heights High School

Eight AFS foreign exchange students are attending Heights High this year, and bringing their unique experiences to the classroom and to their host families.

Justin Hons, who teaches American government at Heights High, appreciates the international perspective that the AFS students add to his classroom discussions. “It is enlightening for American students to learn that the American way is not the only way things are done,” he said. “In an era of globalization and American exceptionalism, it is helpful to hear different perspectives from the AFS students.”

The students are from Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and Europe. They belong to the AFS Club along with several immigrant and native-born students who meet weekly after school in Carolyn Robb’s classroom.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 12:57 PM, 12.30.2015

Tiger Snack Pack back for hoops season

After a successful run as a football-season fundraiser for Cleveland Heights High School, Zagara’s Tiger Snack Pack is back for basketball season.

For every $4.99 Tiger Snack Pack purchased at Zagara’s Marketplace during Heights High’s boys and girls basketball seasons, through Feb. 19, Zagara’s will donate $3 to Heights High athletics.

Zagara’s Marketplace and New Heights Grill donated a total of  $491.84 to Heights High athletics in a joint fundraising effort last fall.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 2:34 PM, 12.30.2015

Lion is King at Oxford Elementary School

Oxford Elementary School has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Playhouse Square this fall to produce The Lion King Kids. Two Playhouse Square teaching artists are working with third- through fifth-graders weekly to help them experience literacy through the theatrical arts in a free after-school musical theater residency during the 2015-16 school year.
Oxford, which won this opportunity along with three schools in the Cleveland school district, has 60 students participating as members of the cast and stage crew. The rest of the Oxford school community will be helping prepare for performances through set creation, props and costuming for an early spring production of "The Lion King Kids," a 40-minute retelling of "The Lion King," incorporating components of the Broadway show.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 4:47 PM, 12.30.2015

Holocaust survivor speaks to students

Holocaust survivor Roman Frayman visited Mark Sack’s Lessons of the Holocaust class at Heights High, and spoke of his experiences as a child survivor of the Holocaust in Poland.

Frayman was born in Poland in 1938. When he was a young toddler, the Nazis moved his family to a Jewish ghetto and then to a work camp. When he was 3, his mother smuggled him out of the labor camp and arranged for him to live with the Catholic Balagova family.

While with the Balagova family, 1941–45, Frayman attended Catholic church and pretended to be part of their family. Many Jewish children were hidden and cared for by non-Jewish families.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 11:26 AM, 12.15.2015

Beaumont School welcomes 150 children for Christmas on Campus

Beaumont School in Cleveland Heights hosted more than 150 elementary school students on Wednesday, Dec. 9, for its annual Christmas on Campus event, presented by Beaumont’s student council. Children from St. Leo's and Urban Community schools in Cleveland attended the event.

More than 20 Beaumont student clubs organized a variety of activities for the children to enjoy, including games, crafts, ornament-making, life-sized Candyland and pictures with Santa Claus. Each child paired with a Beaumont big sister for the afternoon, and together they participated in the various activities throughout the school.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 11:16 AM, 12.15.2015