Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 9-22-20
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
- School reopening update
- Treasurer’s report
Board President Jodi Sourini and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Beverly Wright were present. Also attending were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. After an executive session, the public meeting began at 8 p.m. and ended at 9:40 p.m.
School reopening update
Administrative staff update: Staff provided data for the first three weeks of school relating to enrollment; learning platform choice; attendance; technology and internet access; satisfaction surveys of staff, students and parents; and information about the district’s in-person services for students with disabilities. They also described COVID-19 reporting and sanitizing and inspection protocols. The district has received all necessary PPE.
Discussion followed concerning board questions about absentee reporting methods, survey outreach, Chromebook use and internet access, COVID-19 reporting and tracking for public and nonpublic students using bus services, tech support for online learning programs, clarification that in-person education is opt-in for students in special education programs, and continued availability of ACT and SAT testing.
Superintendent’s update: After expressing appreciation for how much the staff has accomplished, Superintendent Kirby reviewed the history of the district’s initial planning for fall reopening. The reopening planning committees will begin meeting again in early October; reopening is scheduled to be on the agenda for the board’s Oct. 13 meeting, with notice to parents about any changes by Oct. 19. Dr. Kirby described the continuing involvement of the state and OHSAA in sports planning and enforcing COVID-19 protocols and safety checks.
After-school care: Starting Sept. 28, after-school care will be available to K-5 students, with Heights Schools Foundation providing financial assistance to reduce costs to families. Open Doors will provide after-school programming for middle school students.
Treasurer Gainer reviewed the changes in forecasted revenues and expenses compared with the August forecast. The permanent appropriations for the 2021 school year are reflected in the September forecast. The forecast projects a 2022 year-end deficit that is approximately $1 million less than was projected in August. However, Mr. Gainer noted that the September forecast assumes $2 million in expense cuts that have yet to be identified. He explained that, although the forecast is a planning tool, it is not static, and the board’s practice of approving a monthly forecast allows for timely revisions as information changes.
Responding to the board’s questions, Mr. Gainer acknowledged that the district’s financial situation is grim and that, considering the projected 2022 year-end deficit, he expects that the district will be required to submit an expense reduction plan to the state. The board unanimously approved the current five-year forecast.
Meetings are held virtually, streamed directly on the district’s YouTube channel and recorded for later viewing. They can also be viewed at: https://stream.meet.google.com/stream/8f442366-4bbd-4160-aaeb-ece0f7ab6534.
LWV Observer: Kathy Petrey.