Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education special meeting highlights 7-21-20

JULY 21, 2020


  • Proposed levy and finance discussion
  • Updated school calendar
  • Updated school reopening plan 


The public meeting was called to order at approximately 7:30 p.m., after an executive session, and was adjourned at approximately 9:15 p.m. The executive session ran about 30 minutes longer than scheduled. The public meeting was conducted remotely, with each school board member, the treasurer and the superintendent joining the meeting from their individual homes. Board President Jodi Sourini and members James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer.

Proposed levy and finance discussion

After apologizing to the public for the delay in beginning the public session, President Sourini introduced discussion of the failed 7.9 mil levy and said she was conflicted about pursuing a levy for the November election, a move the Lay Finance Committee has strongly urged. Each school board member also expressed conflicting thoughts and reluctance to propose a levy. The Lay Finance Committee had warned it was unwise to delay another levy, and the board took the warning seriously.

After discussing previous cuts, state funding cuts, and the additional expenses for pandemic regulations, the board voted unanimously to place a 4.8 mil levy, the lowest suggested by the Lay Finance Committee, on the ballot to pay the district’s current expenses. This amount projects the district to have positive year-end balances through fiscal year 2022, provided that current expenses are reduced by at least $2 million. The board directed Mr. Gainer to certify this resolution to the county fiscal officer.

Updated school calendar

Superintendent Kirby requested a change in the 2020-2021 calendar, with school beginning September 2, 2020. Felisha Gould, assistant superintendent, explained the beginning of the school year would include in-service for teachers and days to evaluate intervention for students. Intervention for math and English language arts will be evaluated. Chromebooks will be distributed to students before the school year starts.

The board unanimously accepted and approved the updated school calendar, which is subject to revision as future developments occur.

Updated school reopening plan

Superintendent Kirby presented the updated reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. She stated that “safety first is the foundation of the plan.” She then expressed appreciation for the hard work and extra effort that the staff put forth in developing the plan and contingencies for unknown situations that might occur during the Covid pandemic.

The reopening plan will be posted on the district website the week of July 27 and includes answers to questions from the community. A learning link for the online option, Model 3, is included. 

Synchronous online learning, which allows simultaneous online interaction, is planned for high school music classes to provide a safe, creative learning environment. 

Health and safety items (sanitizers, masks, etc.) have been purchased, and more will be needed. The schools must follow the board of health protocol. In the event of a positive Covid case, the CDC recommends a two to five day shutdown.

Superintendent Kirby will present the final plan to the board for a vote by mid-August. She emphasized that this is an evolving situation, but plans are in place to accommodate new developments.

Virtual meetings are streamed directly on the district’s YouTube channel ( and recorded for later viewing. They can also be viewed at:

LWV Observer: Rosemarie Fairman.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 6:00 AM, 08.25.2020