Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 5-15-12
MAY 15, 2012
- Field trip
- School Pilot contracts
- Millikin and Mosdos
- Student schedules
- School technology
- Facilities planning
All board members were present.
The board approved the Cleveland Heights High School students’ field trip to France, April 11–30, 2013. Approval was sought now in order to book lower ticket prices.
School Pilot contracts
The board approved two bids for School Pilots, which are models for the new facilities project. One for the Oxford Elementary School first grade will renovate five classrooms and one for Roxboro Middle School will renovate six classrooms. The Oxford project will be ready for the fall opening. These contracts are under existing estimates and funded by a Federal Innovations grant.
Millikin and Mosdos
The board asked administrators to begin negotiating with Mosdos Ohr Hatorah for a long-term lease for Millikin School.
Staff presented middle and high school schedules for the board to approve at a later meeting.
The middle schools would divide curriculum into “approaching grade level, on grade level, and above grade level” to ensure that electives and social needs would integrate content with a strong core. Odd and even days scheduling would ensure electives like physical education, art, music, and foreign language. Tracking is not done, but schedule flexibility is important. For athletic eligibility a student must pass five out of eight classes.
High school schedules would be changed to eleven modules instead of eight periods. [In a modular system, modules can be combined to create longer time periods for certain subjects.] The day would end at 3:10 p.m. with teachers’ office hours from 3:10–3:30 p.m. Lunch modules would be 31 minutes. Zero period would continue for AP courses in science. Study tables for athletes would be at 4 p.m. At specified times of the year there would be late start for testing. The Educational Opportunity for Success course would continue. There is no credit for these classes, and core teachers would be involved.
Staff presented a technology proposal to be voted on at a later board meeting. IPads would be bought for the kindergarten to grade three iPad cart pilot, with a cost of $115,150 for 700 devices. Grades four and five will get a MacBook cart assembly. The middle school program would be one-to-one at a cost of $1.05 million. The high school will get one-to-one Dell notebooks, at a cost of $418,785. The total technology cost for 2012 would be $882,000; for 2013, $1.883 million; and for 2014, $926,750. The board questioned how to budget for this technology and the additional cost of repairs, consulting fees and apps. IPads do not have repair costs. Board Member Nancy Peppler noted the uneven use of technology in the classroom and that some teachers are not using the laptops. [In a ‘cart’ machines are purchased for classroom use. In a one-to-one program all students receive their own machines.]
Cramer and Associates are spearheading a fundraiser to obtain $3 million for artificial turf for the stadium. The Auto Center and Natatorium are also being considered for renovation and funds are being solicited.
Facilities planners, architects, and financial advisors from Regency Construction said the high school would be repaired first, but this change inflated the cost. Nevertheless, the consultants think the public would want the high school to come first.
A student movement plan would begin with students from Heights High moving to Monticello in August 2013, and returning to a renovated building in January or June 2016. Seventh and eighth grade Monticello students would move to Wiley, and sixth graders would stay in the elementary schools. The renovation, building and student movement plan for all the schools would end between January and June of 2022.
The consultants stressed the urgency of approving the Plan C proposal because two resolutions have to be voted upon before July 9 and another on July 31 in order to put a 6.6 mill levy on the November 2012 ballot. Board Member Nancy Peppler asked for two bond levies, but if the levy is not presented to the voters soon, the special needs designation for the district will run out, forcing the district to issue more costly, alternative forms of debt or postpone significant portions of the building program. Voted bonds entail the lowest annual cost, and tax-exempt interest rates are currently at all time lows.
Plan C is divided into two time segments. Segment one, from 2013 to about 2020, includes work on the high school, the three middle schools, and swing space). Segment two, from 2020–22, includes work on the elementary schools and the district network operating center at the Delisle Center. The total cost for segment one will be $158,562,953. Segment two will cost $46,718,543, for a total cost of $206,281,496. The bond issue of 6.6 mills will last for 37 years, although the actual millage levied for these years is an estimate of the ballot millage.
Project management consultants explained the importance of having a construction manager at risk, or a design builder at risk who would guarantee the cost before bidding. Cost controls would be in place because the construction manager or design builder would do multiple cost estimates and be obligated to come up with solutions to get the project on budget. A guaranteed maximum price is provided for the construction cost and the project would be bid to a minimum of three prequalified bidders.
The board had further questions, especially regarding additional costs and whether new options could save money. At the same time there is urgency to make the decision soon. Deadlines are approaching and the community is waiting for a decision. However, the board decided it needed more information and deliberation must continue before a final decision. The board will meet before May 25 to make a decision.
LWV observer: Lillian Houser.
These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse, and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.
These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.