Access to information is topic of school event

Participants brainstorm about ways to cooperate and find information at CH-UH public schools. 

About 50 people from at least nine organizations joined Superintendent Liz Kirby and key members of her staff for Access to Information About the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Schools on Oct. 2.

The program used a format of three rounds of 20-minute conversations that enabled participants to ask more questions, and meet more people. It left Chris Ruma-Cullen, director of Bellefaire Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) begging for more. She met 17 people and said, “If there had been more rounds, I would have met even more new people!”

The first round focused on electronic and printed information, such as websites, e-newsletters, printed calendars, brochures and fliers. The second round moved into human connections and the communications/decision-making structure. The third round reviewed partnership scenarios and the process for realizing specific projects together.

Throughout, participants captured discoveries, ideas, and questions on colorful notes, which they posted on the walls.

Discoveries included finding helpful information on, such as flier-approval guidelines and requesting facility use. Ideas included adding students members to groups that support students, and cross-promotion of library programs. Questions included, “How can we find out what teachers are covering in their classes so we can offer relevant programs?” and, “How can I access stats about our district?” Conversations continued over cider and donut holes after the program ended.

Among the groups attending were Heights Libraries, Girls On The Run, Bellefaire SAY, New Community Bible Fellowship Church, Shaker Lakes Nature Center, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Lake Erie Ink, Heights Community Congress, and various PTAs, as well as four of the five CH-UH board of education members, Supervisor of Communications Cathan Cavanaugh, and four school social workers. 

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Krista Hawthorne

Krista Hawthorne is executive director of Reaching Heights.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:19 PM, 11.01.2019