Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights

FEBRUARY 20, 2024 - work session

  • Attendance update
  • Academic proficiency 
  • Graduation rate and requirements
  • State chronic absenteeism rules

Board members present were Gabe Crenshaw, Dan Heintz, and Malia Lewis. President Jodi Sourini and Phil Trimble were excused. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted two hours.

District staff gave an update on academic performance for the past semester and delineated the next steps to be taken. Ms. Kirby said she would provide the board with further data from the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing for this and the prior year.

Attendance update

Attendance as of February 2024 is 90.6 percent with a target of 92 percent. For the 2023 report card, attendance was 88.6 percent. Chronic absenteeism as of February 2024 is 35 percent with a target of less than 28 percent; for the 2023 report card, it was 39.5 percent. Chronic absenteeism includes excused and unexcused absences.

The next steps include engaging parents and students; recognizing attendance; early outreach; identifying weekly patterns, trends, and barriers; and close monitoring of seniors. 

Academic proficiency

Literacy proficiency: Third-grade proficiency is on track to reach the goal of 69.7 percent by the end of the school year. Based on the winter MAP results, staff project that 54.7 percent will achieve proficiency by the end of the school year.

Sixth-grade proficiency achievement is off track but improving compared to 2022-2023 to reach the goal of 59.6 percent. Based on winter MAP testing results, staff project that 43.3 percent will achieve proficiency by the end of the school year.

Tenth-grade proficiency is off track but improving compared to the previous academic year to reach the goal of 63.3 percent proficiency. Based on winter MAP testing results, 57.9 percent of students are projected to achieve proficiency by the end of the school year.

The next steps include recognizing students who achieve significant growth, increasing classroom observation, and providing multi-team support, additional instructional learning for teachers and principals, and greater support for students who are struggling.

Mathematics proficiency: Achievement is off track for grades 3, 6, and 9. The third-grade proficiency goal for math is 67.9 percent; based on winter testing results, 51 percent are projected to achieve proficiency by the end of the school year. The sixth-grade proficiency goal is 51.4 percent. Winter testing results indicate that 34.5 percent will achieve proficiency. The ninth-grade algebra proficiency goal is 59 percent. Winter testing results indicate that 26.6 percent will achieve proficiency by the end of the year.

The next steps include implementing additional training for K-12 teachers and multi-tiered system supports. An algebra 1 lab and tier 2 pilot programs are in progress.

Ms. Kirby noted that last year many classes performed higher than the winter test results had projected.

Graduation rate and requirements

The 2024 graduation cohort has 364 students. The district’s graduation goal is 93.2 percent. Each graduating senior must meet three requirements:

Obtaining necessary credits: Students must acquire a minimum of 20 credits in state-specified subjects and pass state-mandated tests. Currently, the district expects 90 percent will have the necessary credits. 

Passing test scores: Students must earn a passing score on Algebra 1 and English Language Arts state exams. If students do not pass, they can satisfy a career readiness graduation requirement instead by demonstrating two career-focused achievements for which the district offers classroom, community, and online curricula. Students can also satisfy this requirement if they are accepted into an apprentice program or obtain a state-issued industry license. In 2023, 160 students satisfied the career readiness requirement. Students can also opt out of the graduation test requirement by earning credits through College Credit Plus, high scores on an SAT or ACT test, or by enlisting in the military. 

Earning diploma seals: The state offers 12 diploma seals to certify academic, technical, and professional readiness. Public school students must earn two diploma seals to graduate from high school. These seals include job readiness, college readiness, citizenship, biliteracy, community service, arts, student engagement, and others.

Ensuring that each graduating senior has satisfied all three of these requirements requires a great deal of time and dedication from the staff and administration. The administration tries to identify students who are off track as early as ninth grade. They also provide post-graduation support for college and career readiness.

State chronic absenteeism rules

The board asked the superintendent to contact our state representative about changes to the chronic absenteeism rules for students in the Career and Technical Education program who are frequently absent from the school classes and to allow for make-up classes.

LWV Observer: Paula Goodwin.  

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.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 12:08 PM, 03.28.2024