Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 4-20-2021

APRIL 20, 2021, work session


  • School-community partnerships
  • Noble community learning center
  • Performance audit update
  • COVID vaccine clinic
  • Tiger Camp


Present were board President James Posch; members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright; Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby; and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and adjourned at 8:22 p.m.

School-community partnerships

Nancy Peppler, supervisor of the district community and school partnerships program, reported on the district's community partnerships and their contributions to student success. District community partners have provided services, staff, and funding to support the district and its students during the COVID pandemic. Notably, MetroHealth is providing healthcare, educational, and employment opportunities to students and their families. Many community partners are also providing additional enrichment and support, including supervision and intervention, for this summer's Tiger Camp. 

School-community partnerships are designed to increase student achievement, improve attendance and behavior, enhance staff understanding of family and community needs, and strengthen a district’s reputation in the community. These goals are consistent with the district's strategic plan goals. As successful community partnerships require district resources, including management and staff effort, it is the district's policy that the partnerships support student achievement and be a "net positive" for staff.

Board members commented on the importance of having centralized and experienced management of the community partnerships. They also noted the educational and employment opportunities that MetroHealth provides for students at all levels, in addition to its medical services. 

Noble community learning center

Ms. Peppler also reported on the district's community learning centers strategy, a research-based school improvement strategy built on the pillars of expanded learning time and opportunities, active family and community engagement, collaborative leadership and practices, and integrated student support. The district is working with Noble Elementary to launch a community learning center in fall 2021 and hire a full-time coordinator in spring 2021. Noble was chosen because of its strong existing community partnerships. Ms. Peppler's full report may be viewed on Board Docs

Performance audit update 

Ms. Sourini reported on her further research on performance audits, which included discussions with the superintendent and treasurer of the Talawanda school district about their 2020 performance audit and their assessment of its value. Ms. Sourini chose Talawanda as it was one of only two Ohio school districts to have requested a state performance audit between 2018 and 2020. The other district's audit was limited in scope, covering only facilities. Talawanda requested the audit because, although not in fiscal distress, the district was projected to be so within a few years unless an additional levy was passed.

The Talawanda officials were critical of the audit process and did not think it was worth the $60,000 expense. Many of the audit recommendations would have adversely affected the district's state report card results and would not be acceptable to their school community. Others were impractical or inconsistent with state requirements. A detailed summary of their objections may be viewed on BoardDocs.

COVID vaccine clinic

Ms. Sourini asked about vaccination of students 16 and older. Ms. Pepplar said Giant Eagle will be providing vaccinations at Heights High the week of April 19 and a second date in May. MetroHealth may provide additional vaccine clinics.

Tiger Camp

Superintendent Kirby said Tiger Camp enrollment is going well. The only cost to enrollees is a $25 deposit that is returned at the end of the camp. Right at School attendees who qualify for county childcare subsidies may apply those subsidies to the program cost.

Upcoming meetings are a regular meeting on May 4 and a work session May 18. Both are at 7 p.m. and held in-person in the high school auditorium.

LWV Observer: Kathy Petrey.

Documents for all board meetings can be accessed from the Board of Education webpage: Go to “BoardDocs” in the left frame menu; on Board Docs go to “MEETINGS” in the top menu; click on “Agenda.” Board meetings are livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel ( and recorded for later viewing.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 9:05 AM, 05.11.2021