Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-5-12
JUNE 5, 2012
- Awards and recognitions
- Plan C criticized
- Field trip
- Grant submissions
- Bellefaire closing
- High school schedule changes
- Dress code
- Race to the Top
- Master facilities plan
- High school renovations for 2012–13
All board members were present.
Awards and recognitions
- Musik Mannschaft, a quintet group at Heights, was recognized.
- The board viewed the Tiger Proud and Bully free Video, a three-minute presentation by the Tiger Proud staff and students. The whole performance can be accessed online at www.chuh.org.videogallery.
- Teachers from Noble and Oxford elementary schools were invited to the White House.
- The Julie Elliott Scholarship recipient was Tiara Boyd, who received a $5,000 scholarship to Akron University.
- Outstanding elementary student artwork was recognized.
- John Carroll University awarded a Distinguished Educator Award to Dr. Joseph Micheller.
- 43 retirees were recognized and new teacher hires introduced. Karen Jones remarked that Heights was hiring new talent while teachers were being laid off in other districts.
Student objection to teacher reassignment
Three students objecting to the reassignment of Barbara Townsend, Heights arts and ceramics teacher and cheerleading coach, presented a petition signed by about 900 students. Karen Jones, president, said that the board could not act on the reassignment of Townsend.
Plan C criticized
Eric Silverman, president of the Heights High alumni association, expressed his doubts and lack of support for Facilities Plan C, maintaining that although the needs are there, the plan was significantly flawed.
The board approved the Cleveland Heights High School field trips to Spain, France and Italy, June 24–July 5, 2013. Approval was requested now in order to book tickets at lower prices.
The board approved the submission of the following grants applications:
- School Grants for Healthy Students, to Action for Healthy Kids, $2,000.
- Play to Learn grant, to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, $4,000.
- Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) and English Literacy and Civics Education (EL Civics) grant, to the Ohio Board of Regents through the Ohio Department of Education: $248,157 for ABLE and $23,472 for EL Civics.
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant, to the Ohio Department of Education, $350,000 for two applications: $150,000 for Champs II (year 4) and $200.000 for Shine!, ninth grade after-school program.
- School Improvement Competitive Grant Year 3, to the Ohio Department of Education, $648,338.
The board approved closing Bellefaire School for financial reasons, effective June 20, 2013. Forty-five Heights students were involved and a portion of these students will be placed in other programs. The locked cottages there will remain. The staff with special expertise in behavioral education will be reassigned. The obligation of the district to educate these special needs behavioral students will be seriously considered, and family obligations met.
The board approved the adoption of NEOLA policies on third reading.
High school schedule changes
The board approved schedule changes at the high school. In the 2012–13 school year, eleven modules will replace the eight-period configuration. [In a modular system, modules can be combined to create longer time periods for certain subjects.] Dismissal will be at 3:10 p.m every day except Tuesday, when students will be released at 2:46 p.m. to enable teacher collaboration from 2:55–3:45 p.m.. Class periods will be 50 minutes long with student lunches between the third and ninth modules. Students in need of guided study will have 23 minutes both before and after lunch. Second period will include an extra four minutes for daily announcements. Teachers will offer academic support for students during school office sessions every day except Tuesdays, from 3:10–3:30 p.m. The proposed schedule will maintain students' ability to take seven classes and lunch. All extracurricular activities will start after 4 p.m.
Dr. Jeffrey Johnson explained the continuing conversation about dress code with teachers, students and staff. There would be no uniforms, but clothes that are simple, clear, and make sense. The board wanted to know when this would be implemented, but no decisions were made.
Race to the Top
Dr Joseph Micheller gave an update on Race to the Top (RttT). The program is halfway through the four-year process. Major goals are opening a new model for years of discovery. Grants were received, and the district looks at learning going forward, holding educators to standards, meeting standards and going beyond standards.
Master facilities plan
Stephen Shergalis explained that the board would be voting on a bond issue in the next month and setting a budget on what we can afford, but not approving layouts or architecture of schools. When finances are in place, then more planning and input would be required. The final product would be an efficient school plan, not just add-ons or renovations. Eric Coble, board member, stated that he is wrestling with the plan and wondering if there are other possibilities like K-8 at Wiley. Superintendent Heuer said that numbers in classes would be affected, and funding would not be available if student levels were under 350 in some schools. Small numbers in grade levels affect programming and inequality in what could be offered. He stated that every year that we wait to upgrade facilities would raise the cost of construction. There is a need for downsizing, and many of the buildings need repairs now. He would like the schools to be a learning community model. Ron Register, board member, questioned where we were in Plan C because there have been many changes and revised proposals.
High school renovations for 2012-13
The board awarded contracts for the new tech classroom renovation project and a new audio and video classroom project at the high school. Before the board voted it was noted that these improvements, which cannot be included in the historic core of the high school, would therefore be demolished if the facilities plan C is approved. However, the money must be spent this year.
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.