Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 12-19-2023

DECEMBER 19, 2023 - regular meeting

  • Recognitions and awards
  • Student Cadre report 
  • Policies group B
  • Attendance incentive program
  • Superintendent’s update 
  • Treasurer’s report

Board members present were President Beverly Wright, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about one and one half hours.

Recognitions and awards

Before the meeting began at 7:15 p.m., continuing board members Malia Lewis, Dan Heintz, and Jodi Sourini formally stated their appreciation of outgoing board members Jim Posch’s and Beverly Wright’s service to the community, emphasizing that over the eight years they served on the school board they kept students as the main focus in everything. Ms. Wright and Mr. Posch both expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve and work together. 

Ohio State Rep. Juanita O. Brent presented Mr. Posch and Ms. Wright with certificates of appreciation, recognizing their eight years of service.

The meeting formally began with Superintendent Kirby recognizing the Greater Cleveland Conference Fall Sports Award winners (24 students and six coaches) in cross country, volleyball, football, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, and girls’ golf. She also announced winners in the third annual holiday card contest and recognized the November Tiger Team members.

Student Cadre report

Twelfth-grader Nia Baker and 11th-grader Darrian Baker gave the Superintendent’s Student Cadre report. Eleventh-grader Tamia Christian was named a Northeast Ohio Regional Semifinalist in the Ohio Poetry Out Loud Contest. They also presented personal reflections as Heights students and expressed appreciation for teacher support.

Policies group B

Ms. Lewis asked for clarification of a change in policy 6240, Complaints and Counter Complaints. Mr. Gainer said the change reflects the Ohio Legislature adding another step for the treasurer to respond to a tax complaint.

The board questioned the vague language of policy 0142 stating a residency requirement for elected board members. The Ohio School Boards Association recommended that a residency policy be accepted. The board decided to accept the policy and present an amendment to clarify the language after consulting other districts and the board of elections. On third reading, the board approved policies group B.

The board held a first reading, with no action taken, on the district calendar. This reading qualifies as a public hearing as required by board policy 8210 (titled School Calendar). The proposed calendars for school years 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 will be posted on the board website and people can offer suggestions. 

Attendance incentive program

Brian Williams, Paul Gustafson, Kristin Campbell, and April White presented the Delisle Options Center’s incentive program to improve attendance. The program partners with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Tiger Virtual Academy’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.

Superintendent’s update 

November and December meetings: The PBIS student outcome meetings are taking place with each elementary and middle school principal. For the annual staff professional development day, staff selected sessions based on individual interests. The November principal’s meeting included review of the fall benchmark readiness results, implementation of the ELA (English Language Arts) curriculum, student goal-setting, and instructional coaching. The District Leadership Team met to discuss benchmark assessment results in ELA, math, and first quarter social studies and science. Team members will review results with staff. The Roxboro Student Cadre met to discuss issues in the district and around the world and make recommendations. They also considered ideas and suggestions for academic support.

MyCom participation: MyCom is a youth development network in which the district participates. Its goal is to enable all children and young adults in Greater Cleveland to have access to and engage in positive opportunities that allow them to become productive adults. MyCom will fund additional programming to support social-emotional learning and mental health support for district students. Both existing and new partners will deliver programming. More information is available at

Grants awarded: The Heights School Foundation received a targeted grant to support additional mental health interventions and supports that are provided as part of the MetroHealth school-based program. 

A district cyber safety symposium will be held Jan. 17 and Jan. 31 for families. Space is limited, so individuals must RSVP. More information is available on the district website at

Planning for Black History month is underway. 

Treasurer’s report

Mr. Gainer explained the sexennial property reappraisal, the homestead exemption, and the triennial property update. These relate to property tax payments and school funding. Mandated by the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), Section 5713.01, the current sexennial reappraisal began October 2023 and will conclude April 2024. The homestead exemption accounts for approximately $9.2 million paid by the state to the district annually for levies passed before 2013. The triennial property reappraisal is mandated by the state tax commissioner, as stated in the ORC, Section 5713.01. The last update was 2021.

Mr. Gainer wants the public to be aware of Ohio House Bill 187, which will affect property taxes. He wants the bill to be amended to ensure funds for schools are not cut.

LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.

Documents for all board meetings 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.

For information on Mr. Gainer’s finance report see

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:27 PM, 01.30.2024