Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education special session highlights 10-29-2020

OCTOBER 29, 2020


  • Quarter two remote learning 
  • OSBA legislative platform


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. Ms. Lewis had to leave to join an Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) meeting, and was not able to return before adjournment. The meeting was called to order at approximately 6:40 p.m. and adjourned at approximately 7:40 p.m.

Quarter two remote learning 

Approaches of other districts: The superintendent reviewed Cuyahoga County’s Covid metrics and alert status from July 3 to present, noting that the county’s numbers had improved in the past week so that it remained at the red alert level rather than moving into purple (highest level) as had been warned. For the first eight weeks of the school year, the county had remained at the orange level. Of the county’s 17 first-ring school districts, while at the red Covid alert level, seven will use all-remote learning, six will use hybrid learning, and three have yet to announce their second quarter plans. The superintendent also reported that two districts have decided to go with remote learning for the remainder of the second quarter.  

Survey results concerning remote versus in-person instruction: Felisha Gould, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Resources, presented results of recent surveys of board members, staff, and parents regarding remote versus in-person learning. The surveys assessed support for continuing with remote learning for the rest of the second quarter and for providing in-person support for students while at the red Covid alert level.

Recommendation and approval of remote learning plan: Superintendent Kirby recommended that the district continue with a majority of students remaining in remote learning until at least November 30. If the county is declared to be at the purple alert level, all students will move to remote learning. After discussion, the board unanimously approved the recommendation.

In considering the plan, board members acknowledged that the uncertainty regarding return to in-person instruction places a substantial burden on students and their families. They discussed whether the district should wait until the end of the second quarter to move to in-person instruction. They emphasized that the board’s and superintendent’s priority is to return to in-person instruction. They requested additional survey and performance data in time for their November 10 work session when they will revisit the timing of return to in-person instruction and benchmarks for making those decisions.

OSBA legislative platform

At the outset of the meeting, Ms. Lewis announced that she would be leaving early to participate in an OSBA meeting. At the meeting, she would be supporting the district by voting in favor of OSBA including in its legislative platform support for legislation to 1) hold charter schools and their operators to the same compliance and reporting requirements as public schools and 2) hold private schools receiving vouchers to the same standards and accountability requirements and the same performance reporting requirements as public schools. 

Upcoming meetings include special work sessions commencing at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17, Dec. 15, and Jan. 19. All will be held virtually, streamed directly on the district’s YouTube channel, and recorded for later viewing. They can also be viewed here

LWV observer: Kathy Petrey

Board meeting materials, including presentations, can be found through BoardDocs. Click on “BoardDocs” on the Board of Education web page, then on the meeting date.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 12:09 PM, 11.30.2020