Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 9-19-23

SEPT. 19, 2023 - work session

  • Consent agenda
  • Superintendent’s report
  • Strategic plan update goals 1 and 2
  • College career day

Present were board president Beverly Wright and board members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini. Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby was also present.

Consent agenda

The board approved a consent agenda comprising personnel, business, and financial items with no discussion. Malia Lewis thanked retiring Lavern Jones for her years of service to the school district. 

Superintendent’s report

Superintendent Kirby noted that the state report cards had been released and would be discussed in depth at a later time. She noted that the district met state standards or higher at 10 of the district’s 11 schools; only the virtual school did not. She also noted that the third grade reading score is above the state average and the district achieved a star rating of five on gap closing. She thanked the educators, administrators, staff, and parents who helped achieve these gains.

Strategic plan updates on goals 1 and 2

With a PowerPoint presentation, 12 staff members provided updates on “Goal 1 Student Outcomes – Expectations, Proficiency, and Mastery” and “Goal 2 Education Approach – Equity, Empowerment, and Opportunities:” Felisha Gould, assistant superintendent of Ed Services; LaShonda Abdussar, director of SEL & Academia Support; Allison Byrd, director of Data, Research & Assessment; Rachael Coleman, director of Principal Leadership; Michael Jenkins, director of Curriculum & Instruction; Karen Liddell- Anderson, director of Student Services; Robert Swaggard, director of College & Career Readiness; Karen Heinzbergen; Joyce Bukovic; Rebecca McDonald; Toya Robinson; and Paul Rasinka.

Goal 1 outcomes target data progress. The third-grade reading goal is 100 percent; 67 percent of students are on track. The goal for proficiency on state tests is 80 percent; 44.4 percent are on track, representing an increase in 14 out of 20 areas. Sixty-five percent of ninth graders have earned algebra 1 credits; the goal is 90 percent. The class of 2022 graduation rate is 88.9 percent. The preliminary rate for the class of 2023 is 90.3 percent. The goal is 95 percent. College enrollment for 2022 graduates is 49 percent. The goal is that 90 percent of students will pursue college or a viable career.

Goal 1 educational services. Building-level action plans for each school are being implemented. Actions include annual retreats, learning walks through the buildings, monthly monitoring, and data monitoring.

Goal 1 curriculum & instruction. The board adopted High Quality Instruction Material (HQIM) implementation for English Language Arts (ELA) and the district is piloting HQIM for math instruction. The district is providing parents with tools, online resources, informative letters, and presentations from the district. The district is implementing the use of Ohio Benchmark Assessments in math and language arts.

Goal 1 college and career readinessThe school year 2022-23 Career and Tech Education Strategic Plan will be finalized and implemented in 2023-24. The district will follow up with recent graduates to encourage more enrollment in college and other education options, as well as provide guidance to help them persist in their education and career choices.

Goal 1 principal leadership. Ohio Teaching Evaluation Systems (OTE) rubric is in use for walk-throughs and observations and for coaching teachers. A program to train principals with strategies for math teaching will be piloted. Transition services are being provided to students and families moving to new schools at the end of fifth and eighth grades, including some home visits.

Goal 1 special populations. In the special populations report card, the district met 23 of 46 indicators, as well as five out of six gap closing indicators. Much of this success is attributed to coteaching work.

Goal 2 curriculum and instruction. In 2022-2023, the district provided professional learning for staff on the HQIM and the Science of Reading for teachers in grades K-3 and for Intervention specialists in grades K-5 and, in the coming school year, will implement HQIM ELA and Math and training for Science of Reading for grades 6-12. Also, there will be training for elementary school teachers on smart panels [i.e., interactive smart boards].

Goal 2 college and career readiness. Forty-one percent of AP (Advanced Placement) test takers scored a three or higher on at least one exam. Support is provided to students taking AP, career tech (CTE) and College Credit Plus courses. Gap year resources are provided. Eighth grade students are offered tours of the tech program at the high school. Students enrolled in the tech program make visits to younger classrooms to encourage interest in CTE. Programs for planning and career exploration for students in grades 6-12 are being implemented.

Goal 2 equity training. The district trains staff on equity modules and holds programs for parents.

Goal 2 school emotional learning and academic supportThe district provides multi-tiered systems of support structure training to school teams and is developing trauma informed action plans. Parent participation will be included.

Goal 2 special populations. There are continuing coteaching opportunities and IEP compliance training for teams.

Goal 2 positive behavior supportsThe district did self- assessments surveys for PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports). Each building will develop an action plan as needed.

College Career Day

The next college career day is Dec. 19, 2023.

LWV Observer: Paula Goodwin.

Documents for all board meetings, including PowerPoints presentations, can be accessed from the Board of Education webpage: Go to “BoardDocs” in the menu; on BoardDocs go to “MEETINGS” in the top menu; click on “Agenda.” Board meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel ( and recorded for later viewing.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 1:56 PM, 10.19.2023